Resident seeks commissioners' resignations

Commissioners say claims unfounded, improper

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— John Watt, a Browns Park area resident, called for Moffat County commissioners to resign their posts during a commissioner's meeting Monday.

On the agenda, Watt was scheduled to discuss land use issues. Instead he aired a laundry list of complaints against the commissioners.

In response to Watt's presentation, Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said the commissioners would change meeting policy to prohibit items not on the agenda from being discussed outside of public comment periods.

"We had a mob scene here yesterday," Raftopoulos said Tuesday.

About two dozen Moffat County residents filled the commission's courthouse chambers. Several were supporters of the effort to recall Raftopoulos and Commissioner Les Hampton. Three Craig residents have filed a recall petition against Raftopoulos and Hampton.

After his 30-minute speech, Watt asked commissioners to resign.

"You are all guilty of malfeasance and misconduct of office," he said. "You seem to just throw money away."

Commissioners said they felt attacked by the allegations and were unprepared to address the complaints. But they did counter much of Watt's presentation and clarified many of the issues.

Watt said commissioners:

  • Refused to offer political assistance for two recycling companies in a fight against Environmental Protection Agency rules that threatened to close the two businesses.
  • Didn't respect the private property rights of county residents.
  • Accepted contaminated dirt that was disposed at the Moffat County landfill and didn't press to be fully reimbursed for the move which resulted in a loss of more than $17,000 to county coffers.
  • Spent too much money to emp-loy a county attorney.
  • Spent excessive taxpayer dollars to run the county's former Youth Care Center.

Commissioners responded point by point, but said if they had known about the complaints beforehand, they could have had department heads address each issue

more thoroughly.

Raftopoulos said the confrontation was meant as a "platform" by the recall committee to stir up discontent among residents.

In other business the commissioners:

  • Approved a proposal by the Moffat County 4-H Foundation to plan a memorial park at the county fairgrounds if it could be compatible with the fairground's master plan.
  • Accepted and signed an agreement for auditing services through Policy Research Associates. The performance audit is $30,455 which is covered under a grant.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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