Recall effort progresses against only 1 Montrose County commissioner

MONTROSE — All three Montrose County commissioners were targeted in a recent recall effort, but the only petition handed in before Tuesday’s deadline was one for Commissioner Gary Ellis.

If enough of the signatures are valid, a special election could take place in December, Montrose County elections specialist Debbie Rudy said Wednesday.

Ellis’s District 2 seat is the smallest of the three districts, encompassing areas north and east of the city of Montrose to the Delta and Gunnison county lines.

Petitioners with Recall Montrose needed to gather 3,012 valid signatures to place Ellis on the ballot, but failed to get 4,385 signatures for David White and 4,493 to recall Ron Henderson.

The petitioners described the commission as a “moral hazard” and claimed risky and incompetent behavior by the commissioners through high property taxes, $2.15 million in litigation expenses and excessive spending.

The committee said a December mill levy raised property taxes upwards of 78 percent higher than five surrounding counties.

In a news release, the founders of Recall Montrose, Mike Krull and Duke Richardson, said the committee “gave its best effort to represent the taxpayers of Montrose County.”

They said they decided not to burden county employees with the petitions against White and Henderson.

“Collecting signatures was a challenge because so many citizens were unaware of how their county tax dollars were being mismanaged,” the news release said.

The commissioners repeatedly denied the petitioners’ claims, and Ellis said the allegations against him were without merit.


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