Dacono’s town clerk has approved two recall petitions aimed at two of the four city councilors who voted to remove long-time city manager AJ Euckert on February 13.
The petitions seek to remove councilmembers Jim Turini and Jackie Thomas from office for allegedly violating Colorado’s open meetings laws and failing to faithfully perform their duties, according to the text of both documents. Dacono Town Clerk Valerie Taylor confirmed to Yellow Scene Magazine that the petitions were approved on February 28.
No recall petitions are circulating for Pro-Tem Kathryn Wittman and Councilman Danny Long. Thornam said that the group did not file one for Wittman because she is up for re-election in November, and Dacono’s charter prevents them from trying to recall Long because he was elected less than six months ago.
Dacono’s charter also states that petitioners need to collect signatures from about 25% of voters who participated in the last election, or roughly 200 signatures on each petition, to recall the city council members. A recall election could also be held 90 days after the recalls are proved.
Both petitions are being circulated by a group of three residents who live in Dacono’s Sweetgrass neighborhood. Megan Thornam, one of the organizers, told YS that she is helping to organize the recall because of the way the city council fired Euckert.
“It’s very clear from the meeting that half of the city council did not know this was going to happen,” Thornam told YS in an interview. “And for that to be happening, and the way that it happened, it very much appeared to us like a political stunt.”
Euckert’s firing has brought a lot of attention to Dacono, a city of about 6,500 people that sits between Erie and Frederick along the I-25 corridor in southwestern Weld County. He was terminated by a motion made by the Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Wittman, at the conclusion of city council’s first biweekly meeting in February.
At the next meeting on February 27, some business owners also said that Euckert was not supportive enough of them during his tenure. One business owner said Euckert did not help them repave their parking lot. Another said that Euckert was not supportive enough of future development at I-25 and Highway 52 interchange, which they said could attract new businesses to town.
Thornam said the recall petitions are not about whether Euckert was good at his job or not. Instead, she said they’re a way of letting Dacono’s city council know that the residents are paying attention.
“There was no conversation with the public and no discussion among the council when Euckert was fired,” Thornam said. “I don’t know if it was the wrong decision, but the council definitely went about it in the wrong way.”