On August 12, the Committee to Recall Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer (the “Committee”) received verification from Brighton City Clerk Natalie Hoel that our recall petition was successfully filed, and a recall election shall be scheduled.
However, to our disappointment but not our surprise, the city has rejected the recall language of its own Charter, and notified our Committee of this fact, a full four days after our petition was submitted.
In a letter to our Committee dated August 9, 2019, City Clerk Natalie Hoel confirms that Brighton will not pursue a special election within 30-60 days of a successful petition, as the City of Brighton Charter prescribes, but will instead allow the divided city council, led by Mayor Ken Kreutzer, to pick any date it wants for the recall election.
In short, this means the city plans to provide Mayor Ken Kreutzer the opportunity to not only vote on the date of his own recall election, but to take the lead in actually picking that date. One can only guess the reasons for this deeply troubling political ploy.
Our Committee wishes to stress to the public that the city’s decision to suspend its own Charter requirements for the recall election was not done prior to or during the recall effort. Through multiple discussions about the city’s rules, the Committee was told by city officials to follow those rules or risk the petition being rejected altogether. Further, nowhere in the three weeks before submission of the petition were the rules ever called into question or given this last-minute alteration by the City Clerk. It is regrettable that we were specifically given Brighton Charter Article VI and instructed that those would be the rules we must follow, yet we believed falsely that the city too would follow those rules. We acted in good faith that city officials would hold themselves to the same standard.
Instead, it was only after our petition was submitted and in the Brighton City Clerk’s hands for 4 days that we learned they would move the finish line on our effort. In doing so, and in waiting until a week after our petition was submitted to make this change, it appears that the city government in Brighton now stands fully prepared to act as an extension of Mayor Ken Kreutzer’s own campaign staff. Unfortunately, this yet another example of the lengths that city officials will now go to in protecting their highest official.
Nonetheless, we now fully expect the question of recall will be added to the November general election ballot.
The Committee will explore its legal options in light of this statutory dispute, but we firmly believe this calculated delay tactic will not give Mayor Ken Kreutzer the advantage that city officials are clearly hoping for.
The Committee also demands that Mayor Ken Kreutzer recuse himself from any vote placed before the City Council on any matter related to his own recall. To do anything less is to once more confirm the worst fears of Brighton residents about his ethical constitution. We expect him to begin doing the right thing through his recusal on setting his own election date. The era of cronyism and political shenanigans in the City of Brighton are rapidly coming to an end. We know it. The mayor and his friends must now know it.
We stand ready to successfully recall this mayor; and on any such day that Brighton voters are given the opportunity to cast their vote between now and November 5, we will do so.
The City of Brighton can try to alter their own rules after the fact in order to have this recall go in the mayor’s favor, but they cannot change the resolve of the now united citizens of Brighton, who demand transparent, ethical, and uncompromised city leadership in the mayor’s role. We will not and should not accept anything less.
In spite of these political games coming from city hall, we invite all Brighton residents to become informed, involved, and engaged in the process of “cleaning house” at City Hall, beginning with the recall of the mayor.