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Voters have spoken loud and clear, according to those who led the charge to recall District 5 Castle Rock Town Councilmember Renee Valentine.
Sid Brooks, one of the three primary petitioners, said the election results in the recall of Mayor Paul Donahue were a clear sign the effort against Valentine would fail. On Sept. 9, they chose to drop the recall effort.
Donahue, the District 1 councilmember, won his recall election in July, with more than 70 percent of those who cast ballots voting to retain him.
Valentine's recall was set to coincide with the Nov. 8 general election. She said she's ready to put the recall behind her.
“Obviously, I was relieved,” she said. “I'm ready to move forward and just get back to town business.”
Brooks and his colleagues chose to withdraw their petition before ballots were printed, he said, rather than create unnecessary work and expense for the town.
“We did it with real reluctance,” Brooks said. “We thought there was a very good cause, actually, to recall.”
Amy Fienen, one of Brooks' fellow petitioners, agreed.
“In light of what happened with the Donahue recall, it was a bitter defeat on that front,” she said. “We just didn't see how we were going to have any more success.”
However, their reasons for recalling have never wavered, she said.
Fienen said they sought a recall based on their belief that Valentine was in favor of development, no matter how rapidly it came. She personally saw that as a conflict of interest because of Valentine's career as a real estate agent.
But, they mostly fear recent development is harming Castle Rock's infrastructure.
“The problem is they're developing first and then figuring out the infrastructure later,” she said.
Despite withdrawing, Fienen believes town council is paying closer attention to public opinion, and is now aware that some constituents are displeased with the growth of Castle Rock.
“I think we've accomplished that even though we're not going to go through with the recall," she said. "I don't think it's been a waste."
To Valentine, getting back to town business means developing more infrastructure and improving communication with her district. She said she plans to support the council's roads and infrastructure goals as a whole while also doing so within her own district.
Valentine specifically referenced installing a traffic light at the intersection of Founders Parkway and Black Pine Drive, and holding town halls to meet with constituents.
“I'm just excited to get back and focus again,” she said.
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