Face off at the post office | AspenTimes.com

Face off at the post office

Allyn Harvey

Postal patrons who stopped by the petition table of anti-rail activist Jeffrey Evans yesterday got an earful as they pondered whether to sign recall petitions against four county commissioners.

And it wasn’t just Evans who was doing the talking.

All four targeted commissioners showed up at the post office around noon to answer people’s questions, and convince them not to sign the recall petitions.

Whether Dorothea Farris, Shellie Roy Harper, Mick Ireland or Leslie Lamont actually changed anyone’s mind during the hour or so they spent intercepting would-be signers may be hard to tell. But, according to sources at the scene, they did their best to get their point of view heard without getting into a shouting match with their nemesis.

Ireland contends Evans called all four of them liars. “That’s his approach. Either you agree with him or he calls you a liar,” Ireland said.

Evans wasn’t so specific about what was said, recalling instead an intense debate. He refrained from calling it a “shouting match.”

Evans has spent the last two years leading the charge against valley rail proposals.

Last November, Evans placed a question on the ballot in Pitkin County asking if the county should stop studying rail if voter-approved financing is not in place by this fall. The question won, though its meaning has been a point of dispute for several months.

The commissioners say the vote meant they should stop funding rail studies, which they have done.

Evans says last fall’s vote meant voters should vote on rail financing this fall. Under his interpretation, the commissioners have failed to obey the will of the people.

When voters come up to his table, Evans tells them he is trying to remove the commissioners because they didn’t schedule a vote on rail financing for this fall.

He branded ridiculous the commissioners’ contention yesterday that the rail-financing question scheduled to go before Aspen voters this fall is deceptive. The city question was placed on the ballot through a citizens’ initiative petition.

“We wrote it as if we were in favor of rail,” Evans said. “We put everything in there because we knew we’d get hammered if we didn’t.”

Without a companion question in the county, however, the city question is moot. Evans began his recall drive after the commissioners voted 4-1 against placing that companion question on the ballot.

Ireland said he and the other three commissioners will be spending a lot of time with their arch enemy, as they try to convince the voters that the recall petition is more about Jeffrey Evans than it is about them or rail.


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