Castle Pines councilmember balks at 'required apology'

Einolf says he won't pen apology letter for council's review

Virginia Grantier

Castle Pines councilmember James Einolf said he has no intention of submitting an apology letter to the city manager who would then send it on the rest of city council for review - exactly what the council directed him to do after they voted Dec. 10 that Einolf had violated the city's code of conduct.

"Council's order that I should write what they tell me (to write) is a blatant violation of the free speech provisions of the Colorado State Constitution, which we all took an oath to uphold," Einolf told Colorado Community Media recently.

Castle Pines City Council determined Einolf had violated the city's code of conduct because of a Dec. 10 email in which he told undisclosed recipients about his concern that the rest of council, at its Nov. 26 meeting, had directed the city manager to increase the public relations budget another $25,000 to $100,000.

Einolf has opposed the city's public relations expenditures since council decided in mid-2013, with Einolf dissenting, to contract with a local public relations firm for a fee of $6,480 per month plus expenses. Einolf wants the money spent for road improvements, instead.

Einolf told Colorado Community Media that upon further review he did make a mistake, that there was no formal motion on Nov. 26 directing the city manager, Don Van Wormer, to increase the budget amount.

But, he said, it was an "honest mistake."

Einolf cited comments made by four council members at the Nov. 26 meeting that had led him to that conclusion - such as councilmember Tear Radloff's comment in which she said "I think we should direct (Van Wormer) to increase that line item in the budget."

Radloff told Colorado Community Media she hasn't received an apology from Einolf and added that "two of the things that council is unified on and feels strongly about are transparency and communications."

None of the other councilmembers could be reached for comment.

Einolf said he has sent out an email to those who received his Dec. 10 email, apologizing for his error.

"I also issued a public apology to councilpersons (Kathy) DesRosiers and Radloff for not accurately quoting their remarks in support of raising the PR budget. I did both of these things because it was the honorable thing to do, not because of council's illegal demand," he said.

But he said he refuses to compose and send a letter of apology to the council members for their review - a letter they then wanted sent out to all city residents.

Einolf said he thinks council's "goal is to shut me up, to get me to stop pointing out that the emperor has no clothes."

He said the city doesn't have enough money to properly take care of the city.

"...I have a responsibility to the people who elected me to tell them the truth about the City's finances, and I have no intention of dodging that obligation," Einolf said.