Autumn Phillips " Let’s hope something good comes from Fraser Rec election | SkyHiNews.com

Autumn Phillips " Let’s hope something good comes from Fraser Rec election

Autumn Phillips / From the Editor
aphillips@skyhidailynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

I have lived in Grand County for only a year and a half, but already I have watched three elections draw impassable lines down the center of three communities ” first the Granby mayoral election, then the “re-do” election of the Grand Lake mayor race and now the Fraser Rec Board recall election.

The letters to the editor page and the comment section of our Web site have filled with finger pointing and a brand of bare-teeth, clenched-fist anger that, frankly, worries me.

Is this politics or is it something else?

I talked to a candidate in the recall race the other day and he said he was receiving hate mail from people he’s never met ” mail so bitter and personal, he said, “it could be from my ex-wife.”

“I’ve never seen this Valley so divided,” he said.

I’ve been in constant contact with both sides of this race as it has progressed and I would describe both sides as wounded. In one week, members of both groups said to me on different occasions, “How did we get to be the bad guys in this? I can’t wait until all of this is over.”

I have a mental countdown to Feb. 17 ” the day of the recall election ” when perhaps it will be over.

I can only hope that something good will come of it.

Until then, the ballots are out. (A copy of the ballot is posted on our Web site if you aren’t voting by mail.)

From talking to people, there seems to be some confusion about the ballot itself.

It’s divided into three pages ” one for each of the board members being recalled. The first question is a “yes” or “no” for recalling the named board member. You must vote “yes” or “no” in order to vote on the second portion, asking you to choose a replacement if the board member is recalled.

Even if you vote “no” to the recall, you can and should vote for a replacement.

Mail-in ballots can be turned in at the East Grand Fire District office in Fraser during office hours. Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth, who is the designated election official for the recall, will take the ballots to County Clerk Sara Rosene for a signature review before they can be counted.

On Election Day ” Feb. 17 ” electronic voting will be set up and results should be available sometime that night after 7 p.m. when the polls close.

If you are still unsure how you are going to vote in this election, I invite you to attend a recall candidate forum at the Fraser Valley Library at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 ” moderated by me. (Todd Holzwarth will speak briefly at the beginning of the night to clear up any confusion about the election rules for the ballot itself.)

That night, I plan to ask the questions, but will leave index cards and pens on each seat for written questions from the audience.

If you have questions you’d like to submit in advance, feel free to e-mail them to me at aphillips@skyhidailynews.com.


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