Recall organizers submit petition in dispute

Twenty-two town residents sign petition attempting to oust town mayor

A petition proposing to recall Dinosaur Mayor Freda Powell was submitted to City Hall on Friday afternoon with more than the required number of signatures.

Town clerk Tamara Long said the petition contained 22 signatures, four more than the 18 needed, and has been faxed to Dinosaur town attorney Ed Sands, of Rifle, for review. Sands will most likely review the petition Monday and could have an answer for the city as to whether the petition is valid, Long said.

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The petition lists a myriad of allegations against Powell including failing to provide and maintain adequate police protection, pursue "critical issues" such as no sidewalks, evacuation plan and fallout shelter, and lacks leadership, planning and organizing abilities.

Powell could not be reached for comment Friday.

A contingent of Dinosaur residents have been trying to recall Powell, who was elected in April 2006, since last year. Several attempts were made to submit a valid petition, but until Friday all had been rejected because they failed to meet Colorado Revised Statutes.

Vernal, Utah resident Dorothy Slaugh inherited the recall effort from Dinosaur resident Sharon Gehring. Slaugh's dispute with the mayor stems from a proposal to bring a new business to the small town 90 miles west of Craig, which city officials rejected.

"I just feel that we've accomplished something because it's taken us so long to get to this point," Slaugh said Friday. "They've bullied us around for so long, I think they realize now the people have some power and we have accomplished a major goal."

In a letter sent out to Dinosaur town residents earlier this year, Powell denied the allegations against her and wrote it would be more beneficial to Dinosaur to "spend our energies and dollars improving the community rather than tearing it apart."

It's now left to Dinosaur town officials to review the recall petition and ensure all signatures are from registered voters. If the petition is approved, a 15-day protest period will follow.

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