Rumors of a recall election focused on select city council members and the mayor are swirling around.
At this time, which council members are being targeted for recall and who may be working toward forming a recall committee are not known.
Following his removal from the Salida Natural Resource Center Development Corp. board June 21, Ray Kitson indicated during interviews on KVRH and KSBV radio stations that a recall election is being launched on social media, but the city clerk has not yet received a recall petition.
If an actual recall event comes to pass, Salida voters should understand how a recall process works. Specific steps and timelines must be followed by state statute.
Salida is one of only five statutory municipalities in Colorado, one of 30 U.S. states considered to be primarily a home-rule state.
While “home rule” gives cities more power to regulate their own activities, including collecting sales tax at local events, according to the Colorado Municipal League, statutory cities and towns are limited to exercising powers that are granted by the state and are subject to provisions and limitations imposed by the state.
One of those limitations is how a recall is conducted.
The first step of a recall is forming a citizen recall committee of no less than three but no more than five committee members. To proceed with a recall, that committee must develop a petition format and get it approved by the city council.
Once the petition is approved, petitioners must collect signatures totaling 25 percent of the total number of voters who voted in the original election for that position. (If, for example, 500 votes were cast for a position, the petition must collect at least 125 valid signatures.)
A separate petition must be completed for each position being recalled.
Once signatures are collected, the petition must be turned in to City Hall for the authenticity of the signatures to be verified.
Once the city verifies petition signatures, the clock begins to tick. The city has no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days to hold the recall election.
In tandem with a recall, any persons deciding to run for the offices under recall would need to collect 25 signatures to get on the recall ballot as an alternative candidate. Votes for alternate candidates would only be recorded for ballots with “yes” recall votes.
The recall process would result in a cost to the city. That cost is still unknown because until there is official confirmation that a recall will occur, there is no reason to develop an estimate.