D.R.: Recall bid on Menconi? | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Recall bid on Menconi?

Don Rogers

I received an e-mail attachment the other day that aims to drum up support to recall Eagle County Commissiner Arn Menconi.

Some of the hard-core Republicans have been hinting at this for months. His high crime is trying to help young kids with more county funding of early childhood development programs than in the past.

Never mind that all the commissioners voted for this infusion. This is all about Menconi, evil child helper.

Imagine, the county throwing in 800,000 extra dollars into day-care support, health clinics and other early childhood development programs. The county also is looking for matching funds from businesses to support these services.

The logic behind the recall drive, besides a visceral dislike of Menconi, seems to be this: In November, the voters soundly rejected setting a tax specifically for early childhood development programs. Therefore, the county commissioners providing more funding than usual for such programs thwarted the voters’ will.

But here’s a little monkey wrench: A major argument among opponents of the tax was that the county already had enough money to spend more on child care programs, so there was no need to start another tax. Just use funds that already are in the county budget, they argued.

So now that the commissioners followed that piece of advice last spring, the opponents are complaining bitterly about the voters saying no. I’d wager that’s a much smaller number of opponents, vocal as they have been.

They tied Menconi to the second election this spring on the home rule charter. But that can’t fly. He opposed the charter, if a bit quietly for my tastes.

Logic doesn’t have a whole lot to do with any of this. Menconi is down to the last year and a half of his last term as commissioner. He’s pretty much done. And frankly, I don’t see higher office in the cards for him.

The Republicans and military veterans campaigned mightily in 2001 to recall Menconi for ducking a commissioner resolution basically supporting anything President Bush might choose to do in waging war on terrorism.

Today, that recall effort might seem to be better directed at then-commissioners Tom Stone and Michael Gallagher. But in those days, fresh off Sept. 11, the recall drive had some headway even if it was thoroughly misguided.

So now, according to this e-mail attachment, Mike Reid is trying to drum up support for a recall effort starting July 10. Reid, late off the successful effort to save Eagle County from a home rule charter that actually made some sense, aims to lead an effort to collect 4,700 valid signatures of eligible Eagle County voters and have an early election on whether Menconi remains in office for one more year before he’s term-limited out.

For the high crime of being one of three commissioners voting to spend a thousandth of the county’s $100 million budget on some more support for children.

Good luck with that one.

Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 748-2920, or editor@vaildaily.com. Read his blog at http://www.vaildaily.com/section/BLOG

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