Recall petition in Snowmass gathers required number of signatures |

Recall petition in Snowmass gathers required number of signatures

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

In less than a week, petitioners in Snowmass Village have collected the necessary number of signatures to launch a recall election of Chris Jacobson’s council seat.

Fred Kucker, a former councilman and now formally a member of the petition committee, said Tuesday petitioners have gathered “well over” the 242 signatures required by law. They plan to delay submitting the petition, though, to ensure they have enough signatures even if some are disqualified, he said.

The group of about 15 petitioners have gathered signatures by going door to door in their neighborhoods, stationing at the Snowmass Center and calling up people they know to make an appointment, Kucker said. As to why they’ve gathered signatures so quickly, Kucker said, “I think this is something that people want.”

Jacobson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on June 26 and since then also was charged with felony criminal mischief for damage he allegedly caused to the Pitkin County Jail the night of his arrest. Surveillance video from the jail the night of his arrest has circulated to local and state media outlets, and since then, many Snowmass Village residents have been calling for his resignation or a recall election.

That includes Mayor Markey Butler, who publicly asked him to consider resigning during a council work session two weeks ago, and former Mayor Jim Hooker, who initially represented the petition as its sole committee member.

Once the signatures are submitted, the town will verify that all of them are registered electors of Snowmass Village, said Town Manager Clint Kinney. After verification and an allotted time for protesting signatures, state law requires that the elected official in question be given five days to voluntarily resign. If no resignation is submitted in that time frame, a recall election will be set no less than 30 days and no more than 60 days after the town deemed the petition sufficient.

The legal process makes it difficult to say yet when a potential recall election would fall, Kinney said. Regardless of when an election is held, Kucker said he thinks the results will be the same.

“An election is an election,” Kucker said. “Whoever’s here, I think more people are going to vote to have a recall than vote to keep him in.”

A recall ballot would ask first if Jacobson should be recalled and then give a list of candidates for voters to choose his replacement from, according to the Colorado Constitution.

Jacobson has said he doesn’t believe the charges against him have had a negative impact on his work as a councilman. He also called Kucker’s involvement “sour grapes” for a conflict they had while on Town Council together last fall.

Jacobson’s next court appearance is set for Monday.