Silt mayor pounds the pavement |

Silt mayor pounds the pavement

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

SILT, Colorado ” While Silt Mayor Dave Moore cruises Main Street with a sandwich board urging people to vote against his potential recall, Silt mayor pro-tem Tod Tibbetts affirms the reasons why Moore should be ousted from office.

About 15 people showed up for a candidates forum held Friday evening at Silt Town Hall, although Moore, who faces the recall ballot question in the April 1 municipal election, did not attend.

The forum was put on by the Silt Area Chamber of Commerce, and the agenda included a question-and-answer period between Moore and his potential successor should he be recalled ” former administrator Rick Aluise ” as well as questions to the five town trustee candidates vying for four trustee seats and a recap of the town’s two ballot issue questions.

Moore said he would not be attending the forum because he did not feel he was running for the position of mayor.

“I have declined the debate and I was advised that it was a mayoratorial race ” and I’m already the mayor,” Moore said.

As of Friday afternoon, a question arose as to whether holding the forum at Town Hall was legal. State law says that a candidate may not campaign within 100 feet of a polling place during election day. Because Moore was not attending the debate, he raised the question whether his competitor, Aluise, would be considered “campaigning” while speaking at a polling place. It also raised the question of whether Town Hall was considered a polling place while it was currently accepting mail-in ballots at the property prior to the election.

However, according to Silt Town Clerk Sheila McIntyre, a check with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office showed that because the forum was being held after business hours, Silt Town Hall was not considered a polling place at that time.

“The forum is OK based on the fact that it is being held during nonworking hours and the polling place is not officially open,” McIntyre said.

The five candidates seeking the four open trustee seats include incumbents Bobby Hays and Joe Sos, as well as Sonny Fernandez, Peggy Tibbetts (wife of Tod Tibbetts) and Nicky Leigh.

According to Dave Bartlett, treasurer for the Silt Area Chamber of Commerce, questions of the candidates included their opinions on the town’s future water supplies, their vision for Silt in the next two to four years, why they want to serve on the board and whether they had the appropriate amount of time to serve. Ballot questions for Silt include a lodging tax ” which is being proposed for the third time ” as well as a question of whether or not the town administrator should be in charge of all town personnel, except the town attorney.

Tibbetts, who is chairing the committee to recall Moore as mayor, has cited a number of reasons why it is seeking the recall.

He boiled the reasons down to four subjects.

The first was an employee issue in which the committee claims that Moore violated the home rule charter when he became involved in an incident that should have fallen under the town administrator’s responsibility. The next was a due process issue surrounding the Stillwater Ranch developer’s application for a special district in which Moore gave a 35-minute PowerPoint presentation against the project and then presided as mayor over the meeting to make a decision on whether or not to approve the project.

In his defense, Moore has said that a presentation in favor of the project was also made by then-town administrator Rick Aluise.

Tibbetts also said that Moore did not recuse himself from an issue facing the town board regarding an apartment building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, which appeared before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Moore reportedly had an interest in the project as a landowner.

Other issues cited by the committee include Moore’s construction of a fence on someone else’s property without a proper permit, blocking a road with dirt during a construction project and violating open meeting laws by e-mailing with other town trustees, in violation of the Colorado Open Meetings (Sunshine) Law. In response, Moore has admitted to making some “procedural” mistakes, but denies any major wrong-doing.

“They have made accusations against me, but they’ve all proven to be minor,” Moore said.

Tibbetts also claims that Moore has violated state laws in regard to campaign finance laws, which he said prohibit an individual from contributing more than $200 to his or her own campaign in a municipal election. Campaign funds over that amount should be listed and attributed to campaign donors.

According to McIntyre, Moore’s campaign fund as of March 14 was around $605. Aluise’s fund was listed as $862.

“Now Moore is violating campaign finance laws by not disclosing the names of the donors who are financing his campaign,” Tibbetts wrote in his letter.

But McIntyre says Tibbetts is wrong.

“According to the Secretary of State’s Office, Moore is fine,” McIntyre said. “Since it’s at the local level, there is not a limit. The $200 limit is at the state level.”

Moore says he has recorded all his finances with McIntyre, who has approved them.

“I have no donors ” I’ve financed this (campaign) by myself,” Moore said. “In fact, I’ve turned donors down.”

Until the election, don’t be surprised to see Mayor Dave Moore out by the Interstate 70 exit at Silt in the same sandwich board he wore to get elected back in 2006. Moore has been out on the highway for the past several nights waving to passers-by ” most of whom wave back and cheer him on.

“I’ve got billboards and signs all over town in both English and Spanish,” Moore said. “I’ll be hitting every door in the town of Silt, and every person in Silt is going to get one letter or two.”

The self-proclaimed “sandwich man” intends to walk up and down Main Street prior to the April 1 election as he already has for several nights.

“People honk and lift their thumbs up,” he said with a laugh. “About 70 to 80 percent wave back. People are so darn friendly. I just feel like I’m going to win.”

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