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Westminster City Council member keeps seat after recall election

Running water
Posted at 11:01 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 01:01:29-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Westminster residents overwhelmingly voted for Jon Voelz to keep his seat on city council Tuesday night.

The unofficial election results showed 10,339 people voted for Voelz to keep his seat, and 6,364 people voted to recall him.

The recall effort was spurred over some residents’ taking issue with a drastic increase in water bills over the last year.

A petition with 27,000 signatures was turned into the City Clerk’s Office calling for the recall of four councilmembers for their role in the increase. After issues over a technicality, an Adams County judge ruled in April that any issues with the petitions were not intentional and that the Clerk should not have rejected the signatures on that basis.

In a statement on Facebook, the Westminster Water Warriors — a group advocating for the recall — said, in part, "Our goal has always been to simply put an end to escalating water rates. As the city council will soon vote again on water rates for 2022, we will now look to see whether Mr. Voelz's recent vote against a rate increase represents a true change from his prior stance, or whether that was simply a calculated political move aimed at thwarting his recall."

Voelz previously told Denver7 the recall effort was misdirected.

"Westminster residents are being misled because I was not even on the City Council at the time of the vote on water rates that triggered the recall effort," Voelz said in a statement. "I have never voted for a water rate increase during my time on Council. The only vote I have taken on water rates was for a zero increase to rates due to COVID-19."

Max Kirschbaum, the director of public works for the city of Westminster, previously told Denver7 increases in water prices were designed to pay for a new water filtration system to replace the current one.