Cortez recall will go to voters

The fate of four Cortez city councilors and the mayor once again is in the hands of voters.

Enough signatures have been gathered on petitions to hold a recall election for Councilors Donna Foster, Matt Keefauver, Robert Rime and Betty Swank and Mayor Dan Porter, said City Clerk Linda Smith.

An official count will not be available until today.

A large portion of the signatures were rejected Jan. 18 because of an error in notarization. The petitions were resubmitted Thursday and likely will be approved today.

Recall Committee spokesperson Jodie Henley made an offer to the elected officials to save the estimated $6,000 to $10,000 cost of the election.

“If the council members and the mayor are truly interested in saving the taxpayers money, then these guys have the option to resign and not force the election,” she said.

Henley said if the five officials resigned, remaining councilors Tom Butler and Bob Archibeque would be able to appoint a new council.

According to Colorado Constitution Article XXI, Section 3, the officials have five days to offer their resignation or have their fate decided by voters in the election. If voters approve the recall of an official, they cannot be reappointed, an annotation to the article states.

Porter said Jan. 17 that Cortez has not had to lay off any employees and has kept the jobs in town.

He said he believes Cortez residents will recognize that the recall effort is backed by a group of developers he believes are attempting to elect councilors who favor their position in a lawsuit against the city.

“I’m confident that if it goes to a recall election, we will win,” Porter said. “I think the people of Cortez will see this recall election for what it really is.”