Recall petitions circulating for three Fraser rec board members
August 25, 2008
The Concerned Citizens group has filed a lawsuit and prepared petitions to recall three members of the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation Board of Directors.
Scott Ledin, Fraser director of parks and recreation, said the lawsuit is a waste of time and taxpayers’ money.
“These (board members) are volunteers who are serving the community to the best of their ability,” he said. “It is unfortunate that a minority of the community can do this. It’s ridiculous.”
Plaintiffs Chris Bergquist, Pat Rupert, Viki Bale, individually of the Concerned Citizens Group will try to recall defendants: Beth Sands, Dan O’Connell and Pete Strohecker from the board. The petitioner’s attorney is Mark A. Rudis.
The recall petition states, “The signers of this petition are dissatisfied with the FVMBD (name) decision to withhold documents from public disclosure and to spend taxpayer’s money for the benefit of the private interests of Grand Park developers and not in the public’s interest, all to the detriment of the citizens of FVMRD. A recall election will provide the FVMRD citizens the opportunity to establish their civic priorities regarding governance of and expenditures by the FVMRD.”
The committee has said they wished to also remove John Kacik from the board, but he is not eligible for recall until he has served six months in office.
According to Pat Rupert, recall is not being sought for board member Greg Gallavan because he voted against a contract between the Rec District and Grand Park, which O’Connell, Kacik and Strohecker approved July 29.
Sands abstained from that vote because she was an employee of Cornerstone Holdings LLC, the developer of Grand Park. The Concerned Citizens group accused her of having a “conflict of interest” and asked her to resign. She said she never voted for or influenced a board decision regarding Grand Park.
Sands recently announced she no longer is a Grand Park employee, and that a conflict of interest no longer exists.
Pat Rupert brought a copy of the lawsuit and recall petitions to the Sky-Hi Daily News on Thursday before it was officially filed in the Grand County District Court system.
Ledin said the Concerned Citizens group and Rupert costs the district “somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 every time we have to call our lawyer.”
In addition, he said the dismissed lawsuit by Rupert that questioned the validity of the election, cost the district $400,000 in revenue, because the district couldn’t sell its bonds while the suit was pending.
However, he acknowledged that it’s a taxpayer’s right to request a recall.
In the state of Colorado, a recall petition must contain signatures from 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the official being recalled.
The Concerned Citizens group is currently working to get those signatures.
“Right now the goal is to recall the board members,” Rupert said.