Facebook drive to Brainard: Quit now
Supporters of a Facebook page demanding that Rick Brainard resign his post before he takes office plan to pack Grand Junction City Council chambers tonight.
Brainard, who was elected to the council earlier this month, has said he will not resign despite being charged with third-degree assault and harassment in an alleged domestic violence incident against his girlfriend.
The Facebook page invites people to attend the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall and to speak up during the citizen comment period. Two current councilors, Bennett Boeschenstein and Jim Doody, plan to present a resolution at the meeting tonight, asking that Brainard not take office.
“Grand Junction doesn’t want a City Council Member who hits women,” the Facebook page reads. “This group is for residents who do not want to see Rick Brainard sit on City Council following his recent arrest and verbal admission of striking and slapping his partner in a domestic violence incident.”
Brainard was voted into office April 2, but he and the other newly elected members won’t take the oath of office until May 6.
Additionally, two online petitions have been created seeking Brainard’s removal on the care2petitionsite.
Headlines for the petitions read “Demand Rick Brainard’s Resignation” and “Woman-Beating Councilmember Must Go.”
Each petition had about 70 signatures as of late Tuesday afternoon.
A sampling of comments on those sites read, “Grand Junction can do better than Rick Brainard” and ” ‘she needed to shut her mouth’ is never a justification for violence.”
Councilor Tom Kenyon said he also will back a resolution calling for Brainard to step down.
Kenyon will not be serving with Brainard, as he was defeated in his bid for a second term by challenger Phyllis Norris.
“How embarrassing for our community,” Kenyon said by phone Tuesday.
“I don’t think the women in our community are going to allow him to go forward. It just shows he can’t control himself. I think his ego is so big it controls him,” Kenyon said.
Brainard’s attorney, Steve Laiche, did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Facebook creators also are demanding that the other current councilors and newly elected councilors who have remained silent on the issue comment on Brainard’s resignation.
A crowd of about 100 people rallied in front of City Hall on Friday denouncing domestic abuse and demanding that Brainard resign. Brainard said in a statement that he will not step down.
Brainard was arrested April 6 after, according to an arrest affidavit, he admitted pushing his girlfriend, grabbing her hair and slapping her because she needed to “shut her mouth.”