Crawford town clerk Cally Gallegos announced at the Dec. 7 meeting that the petition to recall mayor Wanda Gofforth has been approved. Trustees approved an election date of Feb. 7. Delta County will run the election, which Gallegos said the county estimates will cost the town $900.
At the end of the meeting Gofforth received applause from the roughly 25 citizens, some who had to stand for lack of room, after reading the following statement:
"On June 29, 2016, one citizen chose to go into a rage of anger when his requests for personal council email addresses were declined. His rage and anger was so threatening that Cally Gallegos, the town clerk, felt she was endangered, therefore resulting in the attempt to gain a restraining order against the citizen. This same citizen had attempted to recall the previous mayor, Susie Steckel. July 8th we went to court hoping to resolve this situation without legal council. The citizen decided he wanted legal council, so the hearing was continued to July 22 and again to Aug. 2. I consulted the town attorney and then talked to each council member to get their input as to whether we should allow our town attorney to proceed as Cally's council. We moved forward to allow our town attorney to represent Cally. No conversation was held about the funding of the pay to the attorney until it went to the council for approval at the regular meeting the first Wednesday of the month. Had the council disagreed with our actions, the legal fees could have been denied. The legal fees were approved by a majority of votes by the council. As Cally's employer we felt obligated to stand with her through this situation. Aug. 2 the judge denied the restraining order but stated that she believed Cally and not the citizen. Her remarks were that the citizen had not reached the more serious level of threat, but she did in fact instruct the citizen to control himself at the public meetings and maintain civility when addressing anyone who's employed by the town. The judge did not call this 'frivolous,' as has been stated by the citizen. One citizen is the reason for the excess legal fees incurred by the town this year.
I have not voted for any of the fees, as I do not vote unless there is a tie. There has never been a tie. In light of all the decisions that have been made I have consulted council and always have read the laws that apply to these situations. I have attempted to follow all. If I have made mistakes they were never intentional, nor was there any harm to anyone.
We are citizens who are elected to try to work for our community and we are not career politicians, but we try to do our best. It is sad that a few can create so much discontent for so many. But we intend to move forward to maintain our community as best we can in hopes that the majority of our citizens feel we are doing the right thing. I thank you all for your support."
The Paonia Town Board of Trustees is considering sanctions against a trustee after he released a series of board-related emails during a recent public meeting.
At the May 9 board meeting, trustee Bill Brunner provided copies of emails, sent during 2016 and 2017, to the media and the town clerk.