Colorado Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem Recalled over Rental Inspection Program

Recall elections will be held for two city council seats in Federal Heights early next year after residents and petitioners successfully unseated both Mayor Daniel Dick and Ward 1 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem John Hamlin.

A three-member group of residents formed a recall committee last spring and circulated petitions to remove Dick and Hamlin based primarily on their support for a 2013 city rental inspection program that many residents said was invasive and unfair.

To get a recall, members of that committee -- called Renters Have Rights Too -- needed to gather enough signatures from residents to equal 25 percent of the votes that each candidate received for their election in November 2015.

That came out to 295 votes for Dick and (300 names were confirmed), and 84 votes for Hamlin (102 were confirmed). Both Dick and Hamlin appealed City Clerk Patti Lowell's decision that the petitions were sufficient.

At his hearing, Dick entered pages of complaints by dozens of petition signers who wanted their signatures removed for various reasons -- some saying that they didn't fully understand what they were signing.

Lowell said those names cannot be recanted after the petition has been filed. Dick and Hamlin will retain their seats until the special election, which is set for early next year.

The elections will be held via mail-in ballot. All voters in Federal Heights will receive ballots in the middle of January for the mayor's seat, and voters living in Ward 1 will have an additional question on their ballots for Hamlin's seat. Ballots are due back Feb. 7.

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