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Judge allows 10,000 signatures to recall 4 Westminster councilmembers over water bills dispute

Water drop
Posted at 4:52 PM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 20:51:03-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — In the late hours Friday night, an Adams County judge ruled on a case that could have a huge financial impact for everyone living in Westminster.

Bruce Baker was once a councilmember for the City of Westminster. Now, he's part of a group trying to recall four current members for their role in a drastic increase in water bills over the last year.

"We’ve been delayed by more than five months now. We should’ve had this recall election in January. Probably the soonest we could have it now is June," Baker said.

The delay started when 27,000 signatures were turned in to the City Clerk's office calling for the recall. However, City Clerk Michelle Parker determined about one-third of those signatures didn't qualify due to a technicality.

"I found out it was over an instruction page. A cover page, just like right here, that asked for your name and your phone number at the bottom," Westminster resident Sandy Pospicil said.

Pospicil began collecting those signatures shortly after she received her August water bill.

"In 2019, I went to $758.64. In 2020, they went up to $1,112," Pospicil said.

The decision from the judge says any issues with the petitions were not intentional and that the Clerk should not have rejected the signatures on that basis. In other words, the cover page was not enough reason to shut down the recall effort.

We reached out to the City Clerk and the council members facing possible recall. They referred us to a statement by the City of Westminster.

"Westminster Staff are working to comply with the Adams County District Court order to review previously disqualified petition sections. I am especially heartened to see the court note the City Clerk executed her duties without bias or neglect," Westminster City Manager Don Tripp said. "Petitions were reviewed based on the information provided and in accordance with State statutes and Westminster Municipal Code. The same level of integrity and professionalism will be applied as additional sections are reviewed. Updates and documents pertaining to this process will be posted on the City website as they become available."