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Silverton OHV, recall election results expected Wednesday

Electors deciding whether to recall mayor, two board members
A Silverton special municipal election was held Tuesday. Voters were asked whether to recall the mayor and two town board members, and and about whether off-highway vehicles should be allowed on roads in town. (Durango Herald file)

Results of Tuesday’s municipal election in Silverton are expected to be available Wednesday morning, according to the Silverton town clerk’s office.

The election concerns the recall of Mayor Shane Fuhrman, Trustee Sallie Barney and Trustee Jordan Bierma, in addition to the issue of whether to allow off-highway vehicles on all streets, alleys and rights of way within the town, excluding state highways.

Three recall petitions for Fuhrman, Barney and Bierma were filed with the Silverton clerk’s office July 19, and a special municipal election was subsequently scheduled for Tuesday.

The petition demanding a recall of Fuhrman accused him of using his position as mayor “to enrich himself” and said that he purchased the only affordable apartment building in town to convert it into condominiums and vacation rentals.

The petitions also said Fuhrman, along with Bierma, refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at a trustees meeting on April 12.

Fuhrman refuted some of those claims on his website. However, he does not dispute refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The recall petition for Barney said she “took an oath to uphold the constitution of the state of Colorado, which shows she isn’t here to stand up for Silvertonians.”

The petition also accused Barney of voting out economic growth for people and small businesses in town after campaigning for supporting local workers and affordable housing; it said she wanted more data to make any recommendations about whether to allow OHVs on Silverton streets; and said Barney lacks an understanding of trustee meeting laws and issues within the community.

The petition calling for Bierma’s recall said he lied about his views on OHVs and “voted out economic growth for people who have lived or want to own a small business.”

Each of the three recall petitions were signed by Cole Davenport, Gigi Raine and Floyd Barela.

Should OHV use on Silverton streets be expanded or disbanded?

The ballot contains two questions related to OHVs. The first question asks voters whether the municipal code should be amended to allow OHVs on all town streets and alleys.

A “yes” vote on OHVs would allow them on all town streets, alleys and rights of way.

A “no” vote would retain the current routes as enforced by the municipality.

The second OHV ballot question asks voters if OHVs should be prohibited from all streets, alleys and rights of way.

A “yes” vote would block the use of OHVs on all streets, alleys and rights of way.

A “no” vote would retain current town code and continue allowance of OHVs on routes currently designated by the town of Silverton.

Silverton Resolution No. 2021-06 says that if the conflicting measures are both approved by voters, the item with the most affirmative votes will be passed.

In April 2020, voters of the town of Dolores rejected a similar ballot measure that would have allowed OHVs on city streets if approved.

Election results will be reported on www.durangoherald.com once they are released, and will appear in Friday’s print edition of the Herald.

cburney@durangoherald.com

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