The first amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances” and citizens have the right to petition in many areas.
Nederland is a statutory town so what is allowed by petition and how petitions are handled is spelled out in the Colorado Revised Statute and includes recall petitions. Specific limitations for recall petitions include that the official must be in office for at least 6 months, the recall petition must be initiated by a committee of at least three individuals and the petition must be approved to form by the Town Clerk prior to circulation. The petition must state, in no more than 200 words, why the official should be recalled.
There are currently three active recall petitions that are being circulated. The following information is made available for public review:
Should the petitions to recall be certified and filed with the Town Clerk, it is possible for registered voters to protest the recall petition within 15 days. If a protest is filed, the Town Clerk must hold a hearing regarding the validity of the petition. The protest process must be completed within 30 days.
Should the recall petitions be completed successfully and meet all the other time requirements in the statute (CRS sec 31-4 Part 5) including how close a special election can be to a General Election (next one in Nederland is April 2020) there must be an election at the same time to fill the positions. Once the election date is set, individuals interested in running for office may pick up petitions from the Town clerk. A special election will cost the Town roughly $10,000.
Should a recall election take place, the officer(s) who are the subjects of the recall will have an opportunity to provide a justification for their course in office and this will be printed on the official ballot.
Periodic updates to the petition to recall process will be posted on the Town’s website and social media sites. In the meantime, if you have questions, please email the Town Clerk.