D.R.: Recall trips out of gate | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Recall trips out of gate

Don Rogers

The gang who would recall Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi sniffed loudly that the evil child helper had one of three votes putting the home-rule charter on the ballot for a special election costing the taxpayers $25,000 or so.

That’s part of their indictment against the commissioner nudging the last year of his last term in office.

The fact that the vote to put the Home Rule Commission’s bid on the ballot was unanimous? Mere nuance. That the commissioners acted under attorney advice that they had no legal choice but to put the charter on the ballot? Nuance.

The fact that while the other two commissioners supported the home rule charter, Menconi opposed its passage? Nuance.

This probably is the best clue of the gang’s loony quest to at last throw the bum outta office.

They want to do this so badly that they already are turning against their own crowing just a few weeks ago that they would do this in the regular November election, at no extra cost to those precious taxpayers they care so, so much about.

Turns out that seven years into the evil child helper’s total of eight years in office, they’ve pretty much blown their chances of making the deadline to put their recall on the November ballot. You’d think they might have stirred themselves to head down this road just a little sooner if they were serious about his high crimes in office and to save the taxpayer a buck.

Ah, that’s OK. To their way of thinking, a sin worthy of recalling a commissioner is fine for them to commit, if it comes to that, in the name of their holy calling. Why, these poor, ripped-off taxpayers would only be too happy to blow $37,000 to deny the guy his last year in office.

But how does that square with their misguided anger at Menconi over the costs of the special election over the home rule charter? Well, it doesn’t.

Apparently his final nail was being one of three county commissioners to unanimously vote to add $830,000 out of the county’s $100 million budget to county programs that help children in need. That would be 0.8 percent of the county’s spending, hardly a back-breaker.

Never mind that little nuance that the county has spent millions on such programs for years and years, including with commissioner majorities a lot more conservative than the current one. The recall gang apparently still cannot understand the difference between a dedicated tax, which voters turned down, and a line item in the regular budget. Or remember that a significant number of opponents of a dedicated tax for child development suggested that they use the general fund instead.

There’s a whole list of “reasons,” 20 of them, to recall the commissioner. Fine. It would be nice if one actually made sense. You’d think this commissioner were king and not one of three commissioners. You’d think that if the gang really was disturbed about this alleged power, they would have embraced the home rule charter that expanded the Board of County Commissioners to five, so that one commissioner has less influence than under the current model. Ah well, chock it up to one more aspect of this that lacks logic.

But don’t listen to me. I was part of the decision to endorse Menconi in his re-election. Consider it a nuance that we also endorsed Menconi’s chief rival, Commissioner Tom Stone, in his re-election bid, too. (Also, although the recall gang claims we endorsed Menconi twice, I don’t believe that’s correct. We recommended the Republican in 2000, Steve Morris, if I remember correctly. And our tendency is to tilt Republican.)

As with most politicians, we’ve agreed with Menconi on some issues and disagreed ” sometimes vehemently ” on others. The county commissioners’ regrettable rush to buy up the Edwards gravel pit as open space is one example.

We also disagree with his opposition to home rule, incidentally.

So the recall gang, tripping over their tongues, have also tripped out of the gate in their recall bid.

With their fund-raising efforts netting a grand total of $200 as they take out those petitions for signatures after weeks and maybe months of soliciting, well, that ought to tell them something too.

Doesn’t look like it’s their own money they care to waste on a grudge match.

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