Find a petition and sign it before it’s too late
September 8, 2005
Next week, residents of the 9th Judicial District will learn whether they’ll get to vote to retain or reject their district attorney, Colleen Truden. We’re persuaded voters deserve and in fact need to cast ballots on this matter – but it isn’t a certainty they’ll have the opportunity.If residents want this proposed referendum on Truden’s leadership, then they need to step up and sign the recall petitions currently circulating through the valley to bring this matter to a vote.Here’s the latest from the recall organizers: Sherry Caloia, who is leading the recall campaign, estimates she now has 6,500 signatures. She needs only 5,455, but expects many of the signatures to be invalidated for one reason or another. Thus she hopes to collect a total of about 8,000 signatures, which should provide a sufficient cushion to ensure 5,455 valid ones.Signatures are due by Sept. 15, so time is of the essence.This weekend, voters can find petitions on the Snowmass Village mall, at the Woody Creek Store, the Novel Tea Shop in Carbondale and several spots in Aspen, including The Aspen Hair Co. on Hyman Avenue, Gracy’s (also on Hyman) and Main Street Bakery. Signature collectors are also expected to have a booth in Aspen near Paradise Bakery.Colleen Truden has done much to sow seeds of doubt among her constituents. There has been an exodus of experienced attorneys from her office – most of them holdovers from Truden’s predecessor, Mac Myers, but two of them hired by Truden herself. They left with surprisingly harsh words for their boss and her leadership style – “an atmosphere of abuse, disrespect and outright hostility” was the way outgoing prosecutor Tony Hershey described the workplace environment. Truden hired her husband to do computer work for the office but was less than forthcoming when questioned about the decision by commissioners from Garfield and Pitkin counties.And then there’s the matter of alleged fiscal mismanagement. Garfield County recently canceled credit cards issued to Truden staff members and chided the district attorney for excessive spending and late payment of inner-office invoices.These items have raised serious questions about Truden’s skills, ethics and fitness for office. And a district attorney, who’s responsible for enforcing laws and prosecuting bad guys in three counties, is not someone who should inspire such doubt.Voters deserve a say on District Attorney Colleen Truden. They need to step up and seize this opportunity in the next week. Find a petition and sign it.