Donahue, who is term-limited, was first elected in 2008. He was appointed as mayor by other members of council in 2012 and again in 2014. Donahue's term will expire in November. His district includes the western side of The Meadows neighborhood, who were the only residents permitted to vote in the recall election.
A total of 5,129 ballots were mailed to District 1 residents. Residents returned 1,714 ballots, a voter turnout of 33 percent.
"I was surprised by the margin by which they rejected the recall," Donahue said. "It was very encouraging to see that. I'm grateful for the support of the residents of District 1."
Castle Rock residents Suzanne Hackett, John Buckley and Malia Reeves initiated the recall petition of Donahue in early March.
"True democracy involves more than simply electing an official, then sitting back and hoping the best interests of the community are driving the decisions," Hackett said. "It is about paying attention, being engaged and sometimes challenging decisions and direction. In this case, valid concerns relating to the growth and development of our town resulted in a petition to recall."
Specific incidents cited in the petition allege Donahue has dramatically reduced allotted time for public comment, denied residents the opportunity to speak and shown deference to out-of-town developers and "citizens who support his personal and political interests."
Castle Rock Town Clerk Sally Misare validated 242 signatures on April 11, 95 more than what was needed to proceed. Eight protests were filed against the petition. But following an April 28 hearing in which residents explained their reasons for protest, independent hearing officer Karen Goldman, Aurora's deputy city clerk, denied the protests.
Donahue, who is term-limited, was first elected in 2008. He was appointed as mayor by other members of council in 2012 and again in 2014. Donahue's term will expire in November.
"Moving forward, I am hopeful that Castle Rock Town Council-members will hold themselves to a higher standard of conduct and professionalism demonstrating to citizens their support of democracy and a genuine interest in citizen concerns," Hackett said.
The District 1 town council seat is up for election in November.
Imagine my surprise when the land I was assured by the real-estate agent was open space in the Dougco Master Plan, became a five-year construction project build-out, complete with granite caprock demolition, and thousands of houses, schools, etc. I sit here as I write this, practically unable to think with the back-up beepers and pounding of rock crushers behind me, in what used to be a family farm above the canyon.
Shame on me for believing what a salesperson told me, and not going to the Dougco planning department to check what possibilities might be the future of that ridgeline. As my husband and I discuss where we will go next (over the banging, beeping and smashing), I wonder why it is that "progress" demands a blind eye to the beauty and history of yet another Front Range area. Truly, the out-of-state ownership of these properties would be the answer, but is there no stewardship from those who live in Castle Rock? Does the tax you receive from the continuing build-outs assuage any niggling guilt about the destruction of the hills and ravines of the terrain that made Castle Rock?
And what about the quiet and peace of the surrounding properties (not subdivisions)? After 65 years, I am so discouraged with the urban sprawl that is covering a once historic and serene valley, that I cannot stay and watch it devastated. But with the constant noise and hullabaloo from the back of my property, I suspect I will never be able to sell. Maybe some out of state developer?
Everyone is calling for things to de-escalate but nobody knows how to start. I would like to offer a suggestion. Silverthorn and Reynolds (not the whole board or a representative of the board) could offer a well-publicized apology.
It could go something like this: "To Grace Davis, her family, and the public at large: We, Meghann Silverthorn and Judith Reynolds sincerely apologize for our actions in March regarding our closed-door meeting with Grace Davis. Although our actions were not technically illegal, we realize in retrospect that they were not in good judgment. We are not perfect and occasionally we fail to do the right and honorable thing as we know we should, especially as leaders, and for that we are sorry. We now realize that we were acting out of our own fear and insecurities and we were thinking more about ourselves than about the well-being of others. Grace Davis and all of the protesters should not be made to feel retribution for participating in peaceful acts of protest in this country. That is a violation of our rights as citizens, and we are sorry that we contributed to one of the first experiences of that nature for many of these kids."
I suggest humility as the first major step in de-escalating tensions between the school board and the community. That would be so refreshing! We need to recognize that instead of simply stating our points of view louder, as both sides are doing currently, or changing the subject or turning inward and holding our meetings without comment, we should try a different approach.
If we don't, our problems will not dissipate but only intensify. I know I personally would have a higher level of trust and respect for a leader who is capable of apologizing. We can't afford the time to stand around wondering what to do.
The answer is obvious. Please rise to the challenge.
I am thoroughly sick and tired of the manufactured crisis around student Grace Davis and the acrimony it has resulted in. If the recently elected minority directors Lemieux, Ray and Vogel think their job is to stir up division and distrust in the community, then they are doing a very good job of it. However, I think they were elected to make sure that teachers and schools function to the benefit of our students.
I think it's high time they took their responsibilities seriously and started working with their counterparts and compromise as needed to get some work done. Do something constructive for our kids' education - do your jobs!
Proponents of unrestrained growth have tried to set up the discussion as an "either/or" situation, when clearly it is not. No one wants Castle Rock to become another Boulder, whose extreme development restrictions have driven average home prices into the $1 million range. But unrestrained growth and no growth are not the only options.
Smart growth requires planners who examine and mitigate impacts of development on a community. The consider availability of water, traffic, tax revenues, convenience and a host of other factors that go into sane and responsible development. We need to carefully consider what our town will look like in 15 to 20 years. Amy Fienen, a working mother who I'm sure has busy life, has taken the time to try to see to it that we do.
As an American Government teacher, I will use Amy as an example of citizen who makes a difference in local government in my class this fall. Thank you, Amy
My family and I moved to Castle Rock to get away from the crowded suburbs. Town council has worked to create a "destination with attractions." I can visit places like that, I don't want to live there. It appears there are many, many people like me who have been grumbling silently in our neighborhoods as a few have set about to change our town without adequate input from the people who live here.
So bravo to the vocal minority. I'm hoping the silent majority will vote to repair the damage that has been done.
Drive west on Interstate 70 to Copper Mountain Ski Area and turn left on U.S. Highway 24, one of Colorado's Scenic Byways/Highways, which traverses through forests and past lakes in the Arkansas River headwaters area, soon arriving in Leadville's Historic District on Harrison Avenue. Sunny and cool after Denver's 90-degree-plus weather, the downtown deserves a stop to look around --; and perhaps have a snack or lunch? A few possible activities:
The Tabor Opera House, 308 Harrison, is the subject of a concentrated campaign by the city and Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation to purchase it and keep it open and restored. (Savethetabor.com). It is open for self-guided tours, with a video introduction and knowledgeable volunteers at the entrance. (Local favorite Chris Daniels Band plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2.)
At Eighth Street, one can hop on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad for a picturesque two- or 2 -hour trip in surrounding mountains. ($37/$20 leadvillerailroad.com).
At 201 West Fourth Street is the Temple Israel, the highest synagogue in the U.S. Now a beautifully restored museum, it is open daily through October from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or by appointment: 303-709-7050). Members maintain the old Jewish cemetery annually, located in the east corner of the Evergreen Cemetery. Leadville's Jewish pioneers included David May, founder of May Department Stores, and Benjamin Guggenheim, who went on to national fame and fortune.
A drive up County Road 4 brings you to Turquoise Lake, with hiking, camping and fishing. There are other campgrounds in the area as well.
The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, at 120 West Ninth St., has replicas of three underground mines, exhibits on mining techniques and samples of minerals metals and gems.
One can also visit the Matchless Mine, Horace Tabor's great moneymaker, and History Colorado's Healy House and Dexter Cabin at 912 Hanson to compare a plush Victorian home and a rugged log mining cabin.
Park and walk the Historic District, bring bicycles or rent a bike and ride the 11-mile Mineral Belt Trail, which circles you past old mines and tailings at the edges of town.
Be aware of the altitude, keep that water bottle filled --; and enjoy a special day or weekend. You may want to look up maps for other Scenic Highways and their stories next --; a great way to explore.]]>