School board disputes recall numbers
August 25, 2005
The Re-1 school board threw a possible kink into the question of whether recall organizers will be able to turn in enough signatures to force an election. The recall effort against board members Sue Hakanson and Bruce Wampler was hatched after some voters learned that the expansion plans for Glenwood Springs High School would result in the demolition of the True Value Hardware store.Based on the board’s interpretation of state law, organizers might need to obtain about 6,000 signatures on petitions to force a recall election. Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf has told recall organizers they need about 1,800 signatures for Hakanson and 1,300 for Wampler.Hakanson and Wampler abstained from the board’s vote challenging Alsdorf’s reading of the law.Recall organizers are targeting Hakanson and Wampler because of the board’s plans to expand the school to property now home to businesses including True Value Hardware and the Glenwood Gymnastic Academy.Alsdorf interpreted state law to require organizers to obtain the signatures of 40 percent of all those who voted for or against Hakanson, and likewise in the case of Wampler. But district officials believe the statute requires the petitions to be signed by 40 percent of all those who voted in the last district election, for or against any candidate. The district is still trying to find out how many total voters participated, but Re-1 Superintendent Fred Wall said he believes more than 15,000 ballots were cast.Wall said the board had the right to challenge Alsdorf’s interpretation. Wampler added that the board has the responsibility to govern the conduct of district elections.”Nice try for them, nice try,” recall organizer Jennifer Vanian said in an interview after the board’s action. She said the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office would ultimately decide the issue.