What's really on the Crawford ballot

By Carl Page


Dear Editor:

After the last national election ballot that included multiple candidates and confusing issues, you would think the ballot for recall of Mayor Wanda Gofforth would be a simple "yes" or "no." However, Colorado State Election Law allows Mayor Gofforth a response to reasons for her recall. Let's look at those responses and missing facts.

1) Has wasted taxpayer money.

Gofforth failed to state that she, before seeking legal advice of the town attorney, personally instigated a futile legal action that cost the taxpayers of Crawford $8,000 in legal fees. Had the town attorney been consulted beforehand, she would more than likely been told the same thing that the court decided, "no grounds." Furthermore, she felt it necessary to once again attack me publically by saying on the ballot, "regarding the restraining order against Carl Page" without saying it had been dismissed. The recall is about Mayor Gofforth's actions, not mine.

2) Has failed to conduct town and executive meetings in compliance with Colorado open meeting statues.

Mayor Gofforth conducted a "rolling vote" by contacting individual members of the town council via telephone to get their approval to join the same ludicrous action she started with the clerk. By definition and state statue, this is a "secret ballot" and is a blatant violation of open meeting law. Trustees Paton, Watters and Broughton have all said that they really didn't know what Gofforth was proposing. Had it been discussed at an executive meeting, the town could have possibly saved their $8,000 in wasted legal fees.

She addressed this in a recent KJCT interview when she said she made a mistake with one meeting.

There is an ongoing legal action against the Town of Crawford for violations of the open meeting law that is yet to be decided. This too was not mentioned in her response.

3) Has exceeded her authority regarding her duties as mayor.

During the "restraining order" debacle, my attorney proposed a counter offer to the Town of Crawford. Without consulting other members of the council, as prescribed by law, Mayor Gofforth arbitrarily told the town attorney to proceed. This was far beyond her authority to decide, costing the taxpayers even more in legal fees.

I've said all along this recall isn't about me. Mayor Gofforth is the one that choose to include me as a scapegoat in her responses. It is about transparency in government, which Wanda Gofforth has consistently ignored. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for anyone in our society, especially when you have almost unlimited access to legal advice.

Once again, Mayor Gofforth has found self righteousness in contradictions through her ballot responses. President Carter said once, "Our democracy depends on a knowledgeable citizenry so that they can make informed decisions and participate in their government." Mayor Gofforth, like so many of our elected officials, has decided she knows best just what transparency and participation in government means.

It's for these informed reasons that I ask citizens of Crawford to vote, yes on recall.

Carl Page
Crawford