On Tuesday, July 20, there will be a recall election for Westminster City Councilor Jon Voelz. Mail ballots have already been sent out and in-person polling centers open July 12.
In addition to the question of whether Voelz should be recalled, voters will also be asked if they would like to elect Kathleen Dodaro, should Voelz be recalled.
The recall election began last September when the Westminster Water Warriors, a group of citizens, launched a recall campaign against Voelz, Mayor Anita Seitz, Councilor Kathryn Skulley and former Mayor Herb Atchison over claims that the four supported raising water rates or did not support lowering water rates.
Ultimately, the Water Warriors secured enough signatures on Voelz and Atchison’s recall petitions to trigger recall elections against the two. Atchison resigned soon after that announcement.
In May, supporters filed a protest on Voelz’s behalf contesting signatures on his recall petitions. An administrative hearing officer determined the recall election could still proceed because Voelz’s petition contained three signatures above the minimum threshold required to trigger a recall election.
The city will pay Community Resource Services of Colorado up to $250,000 to run the special election because it is not part of a coordinated county election.
The official ballot language can be found on the city’s website. The Water Warriors believe that Voelz deserves to be recalled because of “his failure to support lower water rates,” according to the ballot. The last time the city council formally voted on a recommendation from city staff to raise water rates, which was during a June 14 meeting, Voelz voted against the recommendation. The last time council approved a water rate increase, which was in 2018, Voelz was not on council.
Voelz’s council seat is up for election in November.
Below is a selection of the Window’s reporting on developments with the recall campaign and the debate surrounding water rates.
July 19, Partisanship a theme of recall campaigning
July 12, Recall election candidates: Jon Voelz
July 12, Recall election candidates: Kathleen Dodaro
July 12, Recall election groups: Westminster Water Warriors
July 12, Recall election groups: Defend Westminster
July 7, Westminster recall money flows outside city
May 17, The political fault lines of Westminster’s recall
May 4, Anita Seitz becomes acting mayor of Westminster
May 3, Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison resigns
April 17, Adams County judge sides with Westminster recall group
July 2, Water rate compromise hopes fade
June 21, Westminster water rates shot down
May 24, Dissatisfied: Westminster survey sours over water rates
March 22, Westminster water rates are political. How is the affecting council?
March 12, Westminster city staff to recommend increase in water rates for 2022
Feb. 8, No deal on Westminster water rates
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