The recall states it stems from her responses to homeowners following the Marshall Fire
A recall petition has been filed against Louisville city council member Maxine Most. The petition, filed earlier this week, alleges that Most “displayed no empathy” when advocating for homeowners who lost their houses in the Marshall Fire in 2021. The filers, Tim Crean, Christian Dino, John Dolliver, and Mario Jannatpour, state in the recall that Most “has not responded or engaged with MF [Marshall Fire] constituents,” among other complaints.
Most defended herself, stating, “I try to come from a place of equity at all times.” Most expanded, “We have people who are in crisis on a daily basis. It’s important to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice. I don’t think that’s being un-empathetic.” Most also expanded on the needs of low-income constituents and the crises occurring every day for those in poverty.
“How council member Most had presented herself, the types of questions she was asking had really struck a chord with people who lost their homes,” Tim Crean, one of the recall petition filers, told us. He expanded that Most seemed to be more focused on enforcing building codes and funding use taxes in a political agenda than helping homeowners rebuild following the Marshall Fire.
The recall has yet to be approved by the city clerk, who is currently reviewing the petition. If it is approved, the recall movement would advance to the signature collection phase. The City of Louisville website states that a successful recall petition needs to collect “registered electors equal in number to 25% of the entire vote cast for all the candidates for that particular office at the last preceding election.”
We asked Crean if there was a specific incident that prompted the recall. He explained that a group of homeowners had been upset with Most for many months prior but had been preoccupied with returning to normalcy and that much of the rebuilding had only recently begun. Crean clarified the impetus for the recall “It’s definitely not a single incident, but the two at the top of everyone’s minds are the energy code and the use taxes.”
Use taxes are a companion to sales tax and according to CBS News “RTD, and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District charge sales and use taxes of 4% on building materials.” Homeowners who lost property in the fire were seeking relief from the taxes imposed on their rebuilding efforts. Most expands on where the tax relief funds would come from, ’Initially, it was going to come out of the general fund and I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask the tax payers of Louisville to cover fire-related expenses for individuals. We have a lot of people in our community who struggle on a regular basis financially.” Most states, “Eventually, I voted for it because we found a way to do it that didn’t take money out of the general fund.”
“We hope other constituents feel like there was a lack of compassion there, a political agenda that was being pursued at the expense of people who had just lost everything,” Crean explained how Most’s adherence to the sources of use tax funding, her outspoken personality, and her choice to emphasize the most up-to-date building codes for Marshall Fire rebuilds is viewed by some as politically motivated in order to uphold green reforms that place more of a burden on homeowners looking to rebuild. “The time to force people to do clean energy upgrades to their home is not when 560 homes are lost,” Crean pleaded. Crean was referring to the required green energy code updates that homeowners must adhere to when rebuilding a residence lost in the fire. All newly built homes must follow these codes but some Louisville fire survivors are looking for a way to lower the financial impact of their rebuild and construct their houses again so they can return to their place of residence.
“Saying that our response to the climate crisis is going to allow people to build to a lower environmental standard didn’t make sense to me,” Most explained her decision to stick to the most recent energy code standards for homes being rebuilt in the wake of the most devastating fire that Colorado has seen.
When asked why Most was being recalled, as opposed to any other city council member, both parties had different answers.
Most said that she was not the only council member to advocate for the positions she stood for — green energy codes, use tax funding, and social equity — but is the only one facing recall.
She believes one of the reasons for her recall is that she received lots of national “attention on right-wing media about the gas stations.” The 7-0 vote from Louisville city council to limit new gas stations was widely mocked on conservative outlets. Most gave an interview to Fox, which was used to single her out among all council members as the face of the bill.
Most explained additional reasons she feels the recall is being attempted. “I have been very vocal in my advocacy for equity in our communities,” she expanded. “I speak my mind, and I have a pretty strong personality,” she said.
“It’s really important to say this particular person has failed to meet the bar of what we would expect from the city council,” Crean replied when asked about recalling Most. He reiterated that it was not one single incident but that the questions Most asked in meetings with homeowners seemed to lack empathy, especially her voice in not reducing energy codes and use taxes.
When asked about the recall election potential falling so close to the regular city council election, Crean replied, “We’re just focused on the recall at the moment.”
Most has other concerns. If the recall petition is approved, she said, “They’re going to force the community to spend taxpayer money to run an additional election.”
Law states that a successful recall petition would trigger an election within 90 days, placing the potential recall vote in July. The recall effort would take place within a few months of a regularly scheduled election for November 7th.
For the record, Most disputes that she ever used the word “fragility” when discussing fire survivors, as reported in 7 News. “I never said anything like that,” Most emphasized to YS. The recall effort was first reported by 7 News. The same report claimed that Most was “caught” making fun of fire survivors, but the quote was not attributed and Most denies saying it.