Menconi to keep seat for now
EAGLE COUNTY – Arn Menconi will kept his seat at the head of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners for at least the rest of the year. Petitioners missed the deadline to submit the required signatures for an election late this year to recall Menconi, but that does not mean the effort is over, said recall leader Mike Reid.The Committee to Recall Arn Menconi needed to turn in 4,367 signatures by Tuesday for the issue to be voted on in 2007. The committee had been aiming to get 6,000 signatures, petitioning around the valley at various community events.”Our grass-roots, citizens attempt to get the targeted 6,000 signatures during this time limit came up short. Therefore, there will be no election scheduled to vote on removing Menconi – yet,” Reid wrote in a letter sent to the Vail Daily Tuesday afternoon.Petitioners say one of the main reasons for recall is that they believe Menconi misuses taxpayer money and “believes only his agenda matters, not voters’ desires.” Menconi started a $1.5-million early-childhood development program even though a larger-scale version of the program had been voted down by the public, petitioners said.But Menconi said he does not think the recall effort is about the program. It is about hurting him if he decides to run for Eagle County’s state senate seat in 2008, he said.”This isn’t about the issue. This is political,” he said.Menconi is a Democrat who was first elected in 2000. His second term ends in January 2009 and he is term-limited from running again. Law says that officials cannot be recalled within 6 months of the end of their term.But recallers said they do not want to wait that long and will continue gathering signatures for a special election with the help of a professional petition company. A state law about petition circulation was recently changed that would allow the committee to hire a professional company.Previously, the law only allowed registered county voters to carry such petitions, but now petition carriers only have to be state residents, U.S. citizens, and older than 18, said Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton.”It’s less restrictive about who can be a petition circulator,” she said. A special recall election would cost more than $35,000.”We can begin another recall effort tomorrow, next week, or next month, to bring about a recall vote of Commissioner Menconi. With the help of a professional, full-time signature company, we can be successful,” Reid wrote.As of Sept. 12 the committee had more than $6,000 in contributions, according to the Colorado Secretary of State Elections Center.Reid did not respond to e-mails requesting comment on Tuesday.Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.