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Mail-in ballots go out next week in fire board recall election

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By Sandy Barnes

Residents in the Evergreen Fire Protection District will begin receiving ballots in the mail next week for the recall election of four board members.

The ballots contain information about the recall initiative and fire board members George Kling, Charlie Simons, Jeff DeDisse and David Christensen. The names of challengers Paul Peil, Jodi Kesten, Daniel Koller and Barry Pier appear below the recall question on the ballot.

Those who participate in the election will chose to vote “yes” or “no” for the recall of each board member. If a resident votes “yes” for the recall of an incumbent, then he may select the recall candidate paired with that incumbent. Voters also have the option of writing in the name of an alternate candidate.

Unlike a past recall election in which candidates could be selected at random on ballots, each board member has a specific opponent. 

The alignment of recall candidates and incumbents is as follows:

• Peil versus Christensen

• Kesten versus DeDisse

• Koller versus Kling

• Pier versus Simons

Recently appointed fire board member Valeri Leswing is not eligible for the recall. She is filling a vacancy created by the resignation of former member Charles Dykeman, who moved from the area.

Residents participating in the election need to mail their ballots before the election day of April 23. Designated election official Micki Wadhams, a paralegal with Collins, Cockrel and Cole in Denver, must receive the ballots by 7 p.m. April 23 in order for them to be counted. 

The fire district is responsible for the cost of the election, which a recall committee initiated last November. Although the exact cost of the election has not yet been determined, an estimate from fire district staff is approximately $170,000.

The fire board members chose to have a mail-in election rather than one at a polling place, which would have been less expensive, to encourage greater participation.

The recall effort began last fall among a group residents opposed to the fire training facility project at Fire Station 2 in Bergen Park. The fire board members delayed the project for three months to negotiate with residents concerned about the facility. 

After making alterations to the project, the board voted to move forward with it last September. The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed and approved the site plan for the facility.

The Evergreen Fire Protection District serves approximately 40,000 residents in a 125-square-mile coverage area, which includes portions of Clear Creek County. The fire district has 88 volunteers, 34 paid staff and 11 part-time employees, who work at fire stations throughout the district. 

 

Recall candidates forum April 3

The recall candidates challenging the Evergreen Fire Protection District board members are planning a forum at Evergreen High School on April 3 at 7 p.m.

Candidates Paul Peil, Daniel Koller, Jodi Kesten and Barry Pier will discuss issues regarding the recall and will accept selected, written questions from the audience during the event.

The high school is at 29300 Buffalo Park Road.

Contact Sandy Barnes at sandy@evergreenco.com or call 303-350-1042.