At Least He’s Not Your Mayor (Sorry, Castle Rock)

Castle Rock Mayor Paul Donahue, for now.

Paul Donahue, Mayor of Castle Rock (for now)

We’ve been keeping an eye on a strange story out of Castle Rock (between Denver and Colorado Springs), where local residents have succeeded in securing a July date for a recall election to oust Mayor Paul Donahue.

Donahue is term-limited in 2016 anyway, but has apparently done enough to antagonize enough residents that a recall election has been set for July 26. As the oddly-named Castle Rock News-Press reports:

A mail-in ballot election on the recall of District 1 Councilmember and Mayor Paul Donahue has been set for July 26. Voters in Castle Rock’s District 1 can expect to receive a ballot in the mail in July…

…Castle Rock residents Suzanne Hackett, John Buckley and Malia Reeves initiated the recall petition for Donahue in early March.

Specific incidents cited in the petition allege he 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.”

Recall attempts are always interesting stories to some degree, but in this case, it’s what happened after the recall petition signatures were collected that gives this story a category of its own. Donahue has tried — unsuccessfully — to challenge some of the signatures collected to initiate the recall by insinuating that people were inebriated when they signed, among other nonsense. From KDVR:

Donahue is disputing the way in which he said the signatures were collected.

“This is a very vocal minority that is doing things in an inappropriate fashion,” said Abe Laydon, an attorney with Burns Figa & Will who represents Donahue.

Laydon said the mayor went door to door and found about 50 percent of the signers he spoke to were misled. [Pols emphasis]

“If somebody is approached and someone said, ‘Well, this is about development in Castle Rock,’ especially if they’re at a bar and may be inebriated, they might sign it and then walk out of the bar not knowing what they signed,” Laydon said.

Yes, you read that correctly: The Mayor himself went door-to-door to talk to people who signed the recall petition in order to see if they, you know, wanted to change their mind or something. Just…think about that for a moment. The Mayor of your town comes to your door asking whether or not you really meant to sign that petition to initiate a recall election. How awkward is that conversation?

Fox 31 has more from one of the women who collected petition signatures for the recall:

[Stacey] Rogers believed residents might have felt intimidated having the mayor show up at their door.

“People were already very nervous about signing,” she said. “Then for him and his crew to go to their doors, people are mortified.”

Mayor Donahue says that about half of the signers admitted to him that they were “misled” about the petition, but what else are you going to say when the freakin’ Mayor pounds on your front door?

Despite Donahue’s efforts to un-initiate the recall, an election will go ahead on July 26.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Oh, look honey, …

    . . . Mayor Donahue is at the door.

    • Voyageur says:

      As to odd names, my all time favorite was the New York World Journal Tribune.

      It was formed by the merger of the Herald Tribune with the World Telegram and Sun and the Journal American.

      The Journal American, of course, was the merger of Hearst's separate Journal and American

      The World, the Telegram and Sun were, of course, all separate entities when Pulitzer ran the World and Charles Dana the Sun.

      Of course, the Herald Tribune was the combination of Horace Greeley's Tribune and the once Separate Herald.

      So when it died, the tombstone should have read: World. Telegram, Sun, Journal, American, Herald, Tribune and partridge in a pear tree!

  2. NotHopeful says:

    Castle Rock is probably the most poorly administered town on the Front Range. The town has known for years that growth is coming and has done very little to prepare for it. Traffic is horrendous, planning is essentially non-existent, the downtown is ghostly, sprawl is everywhere, developers are allowed to do whatever they want, parks are mostly small things, and town services are woefully under-funded. The town attorney has been there for at least 20 years, probably closer to 30, and he never, ever challenges the town council's wacky thinking. The clerk is hostile to citizens. The town council thinks guns should be allowed everywhere and really has no idea about how to manage the town except to just kiss developer's butts. It's a truly awful place and Donahue has been a big part of making it that way.

  3. Mary in Castle Rock says:

    Are we sure we are talking about the same guy Nanny? The Councilman Donahue I know reduced time for citizens to talk at Council meetings, has never voted down a developer's proposal in 7 years, including increasing lots on a developers property from a zoned 700 to 1200, has a planning commission that allows for 10 feet between houses, may approve 98 homes over 14 acres, approved using the Town Hall and town property as collateral on a loan, spent over $100,000 of tax payer money so citizens can legally bring semi automatic rifles to REC centers, owns the centennial gun club, was voted as Mayor of Castle Rock a town of over 55,000 with 4 votes (one of them was his own), actively trying to double the population of Castle Rock in the next 15 years.   Not sure I feel as proud as you do…

    • Mary in Castle Rock says:

      Just to clarify, Donahue's group talked to only 32 signers of those 14 said they felt misled into thinking the petition was about reducing growth (just a side note I wonder if they knew that Donahue was very pro super growth or if he mentioned that to them)   I find it strange that those who told Donahue that they may have signed in error… missed in bold lettering at the top of the page PETITION TO RECALL COUNCILMAN PAUL DONAHUE.  Also an additional 8 protest by the Donahue camp (including one by a guy who never read the petition) were denied  in review.  

  4. Zappatero says:

    The vast growth is by now irreversible – malls and freeways are what greet you heading down the hill from Denver  

    What was once a quaint little town will soon be an overrun overbuilt giant-malled cash-rich fiefdom where developers are esteemed Knights and residents are ignored Serfs. 

    Pun, for the Castle. intended…I guess. 

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