Dear Englewood residents,
As the Herald has reported, there is a recall effort underway for four of our Englewood City Council members. As former mayor, and past District 2 council member for 12 years, I implore us all to Please Decline to Sign the Petitions for these reasons:
1. Englewood Council is doing their job. We elected them to address tough issues, such as housing accessibility. I may not agree with all ideas they considered to create more affordable housing, but we voted for them to take issues seriously. They talked with residents, conducted studies, consulted experts, listened intently in endless open meetings. That is their job. They did not cast any votes. They simply explored multiple perspectives and possible solutions to community housing needs. And, when they heard the deep concern and disagreement on zoning changes, they pulled it from consideration.
2. Recalls are grossly expensive and disruptive. This recall will cost tens of thousands of dollars. And if the recall attempts succeed? Four seats will sit empty, and council will not have a quorum to vote on anything for months. For those who want to see leadership change — that is the purpose of elections. The next one is Nov. 7 when four out of seven seats will be open for (re)election.
3. Recalls are destructively polarizing. Recall campaigns do not encourage us to sit down and talk through our differences and find solutions. Council members have been discussing and listening, hosting more town halls on this issue than I ever saw when mayor. Recalls end dialogue and undermine deliberative democracy, reinforcing a lack of courage to have crucial conversations. We can do better than this in Englewood.
4. Recalls tarnish trust and reputation. Recalls hurt communities. Our neighbors become jaded and embarrassed that we cannot solve disagreements with real dialogue and civility. Future residents shy away from a city in turmoil. Recalls signal leadership instability to our local businesses who then hesitate to invest further. City staff morale falls, creating a pending sense of futility. Neighboring cities, the county and state question whether our project partnerships and future work together will be upheld given the unpredictability of leadership.
Let's do this differently. Let's be known as a city who works on civic processes that support civil dialogue and collaborative problem solving. Please Decline to Sign any petition to recall.
Your former mayor and District 2 Council Member,