Castle Rock Councilmember Renee Valentine has filed a protest against the petition to recall her from her District 5 seat.
“I believe this recall is an abuse of the recall process which is in place if an elected official does something ethically or legally inappropriate,” Valentine wrote in her formal protest to the town clerk.
A protest hearing has been set for 10 a.m. June 3 at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St., Castle Rock.
The petition to recall Valentine — submitted by residents Jeff Linn, Amy Fienen and Sid Brooks — says Castle Rock and District 5 would be better served by a new councilmember who "supports responsible development, reduces debt by ensuring that spending does not exceed town revenues and provides the public with reasonable opportunity to address town council."
Valentine contends the three specific items addressed in the the petition — approving budgets where expenditures exceed revenues, not supporting a petition that gives citizens the right to vote on annexations, and voting to limit public comment at council meetings — can be proven false and misleading.
Petitioners turned in more than 300 signatures to Castle Rock Town Clerk Sally Misare. Misare validated 273 signatures on May 16 — five more than the 268 signatures needed to move forward.
The validity of those signatures and the process of how they were obtained are also the subject of Valentine's protest.
“There were signatures counted that should not have been validated,” Valentine wrote in her protest letter. “Only the clerk, Sally Misare, checked the signatures to be valid. With the variance of five signatures, the deputy clerk of Castle Rock or an individual of like expertise should have double-checked the work.”
Misare was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
The hearing will be conducted by Karen Goldman, an independent hearing officer and Aurora's deputy city clerk.
If the protest is denied, the question regarding Valentine's recall will be added to the Nov. 8 general election ballot for District 5 voters. The district includes Castle Oaks, Cobblestone Ranch, Escavera and Founders Village.
Valentine was elected in 2011 and her second term expires in 2018. She will continue to serve in office while this recall process takes place.
A mail-in ballot election on the recall of Mayor Paul Donahue, who represents District 1, has been set for July 26. Voters in that district can expect to receive a ballot in the mail in July. The district includes the western side of The Meadows neighborhood.
Donahue, who is term-limited, was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. His term will expire in November. He was appointed as mayor by other members of council in 2012 and again in 2014.
The petition to recall Castle Rock District 2 Councilmember Mark Heath was not submitted with signatures, so it will not move forward.