MONTROSE – The petitioners seeking to recall Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis from office have come up short on verified signatures, so no recall election will be held.
The office of Montrose County Clerk and Recorder Fran Tipton Long stated that after checking the 3,198 signatures submitted, only 2,689 were “statutorily valid.”
To force a recall election of Ellis, the petitioners were required to submit a minimum of 3,012 signatures, according to Long. The petitioners have 15 days to file a protest, after which they are entitled to a hearing.
Signatures are invalidated if the name and address do not match county records, if it is not that of a registered voter, if they don’t complete the petition as required, or if it is a duplicate, according to Long.
A news release from the county quoted Ellis as saying he believes the best thing for the county is “to put this recall to rest and leave it behind us. We have many important issues that need to be focused on. I understand the recall group can challenge the matter, but I sincerely hope they take this opportunity to let both sides get back to resolving pressing issues and let the county heal.”
But the most pressing issue for petition drive leader Mike Krull is that the commissioners pay attention to the thousands who did sign the petition and who believe that the commissioners are not handling county business properly. The original petition called for the removal of the other two commissioners, David White and Ron Henderson, but the petitions fell short on the minimum number of signers required.
“The county spoke loudly and sincerely and wants responsiveness to their wishes,” Krull wrote in an email. “We could only hope that the commissioners would have heard the concerns of these citizens. We presented the medium for their voice. With well over 4,000 signatures being presented as to the dissatisfaction of the three county commissioners’ performance, you would hope they open their eyes and mind to reflection upon their decision-making processes for the people of Montrose County.”