Town Clerk Sally Misare determined on April 11 that there are enough valid signatures for the recall effort to move forward in Castle Rock's District 1, which includes part of The Meadows.
The petitioners seeking the recall of Paul Donahue as District 1 councilmember and town mayor needed a minimum of 147 valid signatures; the Castle Rock town clerk has validated 242 signatures. The required number of signatures is defined in state statute and town charter as 25 percent of the number of votes cast within the district the last time a councilmember from that district was elected.
Donahue was first elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2012. His term will expire in November, and he is term-limited.
The petition to recall Donahue — submitted by residents Suzanne Hackett, Malia Reeves and John Buckley — claims Donahue's leadership style and voting record have been detrimental to the health of the community.
“I would like to emphasize that the recall is not a form of punishment, but it's a demonstration of active citizenry,” Hackett said.
Specific incidents cited in the petition allege Donahue has dramatically reduced allotted time for public comment; denied residents the opportunity to speak; and shown deference to out-of-town developers and "citizens who support his personal and political interests."
“Mr. Buckley, Ms. Reeves, and I represent a diverse and substantial group of residents who seek a different type of leadership in our community — we are simply the messengers,” Hackett said.
The next step in the recall process is a protest period in which a registered Castle Rock voter could dispute the petition. The protest period ends at the close of business on April 21. After April 21 and absent a successful protest of the petition, Town Council will address the timing of the special election.
“I am absolutely intrigued and excited to see how this election process plays out,” Donahue said, adding that a local petition process a few years ago resulted in Castle Rock voters being left ”high and dry.”
“It was kind of crazy,” he added.
Town officials said they will continue to update the community throughout the petition and election process.
The recall election will cost about $10,000, according to Castle Rock Town Clerk Sally Misare and statements at the April 5 Town Council meeting.
Donahue will continue to serve in office while this process takes place.