After two former Englewood mayors and two other residents filed a petition to recall Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, about six weeks remain until the deadline to submit more than 350 …
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According to the Englewood Home Rule Charter, one or more registered voters eligible to vote for a certain office can request a petition that would trigger an election to recall the elected official who currently holds that office, if the official has held the position for six months or more.
The petition must be signed by registered voters eligible to vote for the office in question, and the number of signatures must equal at least 25 percent of the voters who voted in the last general election for that office.
Nearly 1,500 voted for the District 3 position in 2015, so a successful petition would need 366 signatures in the district. District 3 includes roughly the southeast and middle parts of Englewood.
The petition with signatures must be filed within 60 days after the clerk authorizes it. If successful, the city council generally must set a date for a recall election to be held between 60 and 120 days after the petition is filed.
In that election, if the majority votes to recall the official, the office is declared vacant, and city council generally must schedule another election between 60 and 120 days after the recall election to choose a new councilmember.
After two former Englewood mayors and two other residents filed a petition to recall Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, about six weeks remain until the deadline to submit more than 350 valid signatures that would be required to trigger a recall election.
The city clerk's office authorized the petition May 7, which means supporters of the recall have until 60 days after that date to hand it in. A successful petition would lead to an election to decide whether to unseat Barrentine, the councilmember for District 3, the city's middle and southeast region.
It would be the first city council recall election in Englewood in more than 20 years, and just the third in city history, according to a city document.
The group of petitioners, including former Mayors Jim Woodward and Randy Penn, have accused Barrentine, who was elected in 2015, of “bullying and unwarranted threats to fire city employees” and of “regular distortion of facts and outright lies.”
“Council Member Laurett Barrentine demonstrates conduct unbecoming of an elected official and creates a toxic, counterproductive dynamic on Englewood City Council, preventing Council from acting in Englewood's best interest,” the group wrote in an affidavit received by the city April 17.
The petition, as allowed by city law, includes a statement of defense from Barrentine, which criticized the use of the recall process.
“It is a shame four people refuse to participate in the normal election cycle,” Barrentine wrote. She said voting against the city's budget was her job “as your elected representative, to ensure the city is spending your money wisely.”
The petitioners list her “repeated refusal” to approve city budgets as an example of conduct they said “increases governmental dysfunction.”
Barrentine said May 16 that city council is getting along well, and she was not worried about the recall.
“I have a lot of support from people that it doesn't go to a recall,” Barrentine said. “The job that I've done speaks for itself.”
The grievances are vague, said Barrentine, adding she's “offended” by the idea that staff needs to be protected from council.
“It's just sad, all of this trying to stir the pot” she said. I “think they're disappointed that council is getting along so well.”Woodward, the former mayor who served from 2007-11, said he's seen "fairly positive" responses so far from people he and other petitioners have talked to about the recall. Woodward has walked a few blocks in District 3, knocking on doors.
"The people I've been involved with, it's probably been 90 percent that have supported it and signed," said Woodward, adding that he's confident the petition will reach the necessary number of signatures to succeed.
Since early January, the council has operated without a District 1 representative after former Mayor Joe Jefferson stepped down to take the position of municipal judge. That left the council in a 3-3 split on whom to appoint to fill his vacancy, and the body has run with six members since then. The impasse, at the time, highlighted ideological differences among the councilmembers.
That gridlock triggered a special election for May 22 to select the next District 1 councilmember, who will likely be sworn into office in early June.
For a map of the council districts, go to englewoodco.gov/inside-city-hall/city-council.
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