Timing still bad for a recall

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Earlier this week, a determined group of Moffat County citizens filed a recall petition seeking the removal of County Commissioners Les Hampton and Marianna Raftopoulos.

A little more than two months ago, we said it was a bad idea and nothing has occurred since then to change our minds.

If anything, it's a worse idea now than it was before simply because the timing is so bad.

If the recall group gathered enough signatures to force a special election, it would likely come only three or four months before voters decided the issue anyway. Raftopoulos can't run again because of term limits and voters will have the opportunity to decide if Hampton is worth re-electing in November.

We've encouraged people to speak their minds and challenge their government officials to act in the best interest of the residents of Moffat County.

But we question whether anything good would come from a recall election. What problems would it solve? The damage, so to speak, has been done and a new commissioner would be facing the same budgetary constraints that are already a fact of life for the commission.

The recall group has announced no candidate with creative solutions to the county's budget woes. The group makes general allegations about "overspending" but hasn't crafted a platform with specific recommendations to fix anything.

It'll cost somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 for a recall election. The group calls that a "drop in the bucket" compared to years of alleged fiscal mismanagement, but it's still a lot of money for a county struggling to provide services to its people.

Yes, the commissioners have to accept responsibility for the county's current state of affairs. Yes, they have to remain frugal and stick to their budget. Yes, we have a budget situation that can only be solved with long-term planning and some visionary leadership.

But a recall election won't solve those long-term challenges any faster than the regular election would.

If the petition had been filed a year ago, perhaps our thinking on this issue would be different.

But, as we said before, a recall election at this stage of the game is too little,

too late.

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