Eagle Co. commissioner focus of recall
VAIL – The leader of a group mounting a recall says Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi should be removed from office because he ignores the wishes of voters and is fiscally irresponsible.”Mr. Menconi is a danger to our community,” wrote Vail resident Mike Reid, who identified himself as a leader of a group trying to recall Menconi. Reid responded to interview questions by e-mail. Menconi said the grounds for the recall attempt are unfounded and he doubts the group will gather enough signatures.”I’m actually glad that they are trying to do this,” Menconi said. “Right now, it would be next to impossible for somebody to get enough signatures.”An attempt at a recall brings more attention to his efforts to fund early-childhood development, Menconi said.A flier with Reid’s name and e-mail address circulating via e-mail outlines a plan to organize a campaign to gather signatures to force a recall vote. The flier repeats the phrase “Anybody But Menconi.”Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton said 4,367 signatures would be necessary to force a recall election of Menconi. A recall petition process has not begun formally, Simonton said.The group wants a recall election to be part of the November general election, Reid said. According to the flier, the group plans to gather 4,700 signatures from July 15 through Sept. 14.’Forgets who he works for’Reid said Menconi ignored voters when he voted to approve money for early-childhood education, even after voters rejected a tax for that purpose in November.”Mr. Menconi is not responsive to the will of the voters,” Reid wrote. “Mr. Menconi forgets who he works for.”Reid said Menconi also forced a second home-rule election after voters rejected the proposal in November. Menconi voted, along with the other commissioners, to put home rule on the ballot a second time. However, Menconi said he did not support a second election for home rule.Menconi, a Democrat who lives in Eagle, was first elected in 2000 and was re-elected in 2004. Term limits will prevent him from running in the 2008 election. Reid said his group cannot tolerate the “fiscal irresponsibility” of Menconi until then.A majority of the community would like to see Menconi gone, Reid said. He declined to identify other organizers or supporters of the effort.The effort is “not about parties” and it does not matter who replaces Menconi, Reid said.The recall supporters don’t understand representative government, Menconi said.”I got elected on a platform about early-childhood development,” he said. “I made that very clear in my second and first term.”Not the first timeMenconi was also the target of a recall effort in 2001. That effort sprang from Menconi’s refusal to sign a resolution of support for President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Backers were not able to gather the required 3,500 signatures.But there is more support for this recall effort, Reid wrote.
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Ballots will be counted Tuesday evening for the city of Aspen municipal election.