Twenty-two residents of Dinosaur, the small town 90 miles west of Craig, are unhappy with the performance of mayor Freda Powell. Make it 23 if you count Sharon Gehring, a town resident for the last year who's circulating a petition to recall the mayor.
Gehring, who began her recall drive on Sept. 18, hopes to submit the recall petition by the beginning of October. A lack of police protection for Dinosaur is among the reasons listed by Gehring for attempting to recall the mayor.
"She's failed to provide any police protection," Gehring said. "It's pretty scary, especially if people know we're without police protection."
Town officials fired Dinosaur town marshal Russell "Wayne" Eller in June after allegations were made that he lied on his resume and about his workload so he could get a raise. Since then, the town has entered into an agreement with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office to provide deputies to patrol the area for 20 to 25 hours per week.
"We get someone out there as often as we can," Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg said.
But the Sheriff's Office's best efforts combined with the town's failure to land a full-time officer aren't enough to provide Dinosaur residents and business owners with adequate protection, Gehring said.
"They got rid of the (marshal) we used to have," she said. "Now, nothing seems to be getting investigated. ... One person isn't going to be able to do full-time, 24-hour work.
"We're worried. Like I said, it's pretty scary."
Powell was elected in April. She received 74 of the 78 total votes cast, while two other write-in candidates received a vote each, Dinosaur town clerk Tamara Long said. Long said officials did not know how the remaining two votes were cast.
When reached Friday, Powell limited her comments because she hadn't yet seen the recall petition.
"It's kind of silly for me to respond right now," Powell said.
However, the mayor denied any wrongdoing and reaffirmed her commitment to serving the town. She said her priority is serving the best interests of the population at large rather than a few select residents.
"My interest is in the town," Powell said. "I want to do what's best for Dinosaur."
A mayor cannot be recalled in the first or last six months of office, according to the Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
Oct. 4 marks Powell's first six months in office.
Moffat County Deputy Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod said any recall petition would be handled through the town of Dinosaur.
Long said she has not received the recall petition and would forward any petition the town attorney for review.