BY FREDA MIKLIN
Two of the three city council members who are the subject of a recall on which Englewood residents will vote October 3 might only be off the council for one month, even if they are recalled. District One Council Member Othoniel Sierra, who is currently mayor (the council chooses the mayor in Englewood) and District Three Council Member Joe Anderson, are certified candidates for re-election on November 7 and will be on the ballot whether or not they are recalled the month before.
A third sitting council member, District Two Representative Chelsea Nunnenkamp, is also a subject of the October 3 recall. She is halfway through the four-year term to which she was elected in 2021.
Sufficient signatures were also certified to recall Cheryl Wink, who was an at-large member of the Englewood Council elected to a four-year term in 2021, but she resigned in July 2023, making the question moot.
The recall effort began when the city council discussed potential changes to its zoning code that could have allowed multifamily residences to be built in single-family neighborhoods in Englewood. The council rejected that plan in April 2023, but that didn’t stop the recall effort. Some residents’ believe that, since they discussed the idea, the city council will inevitably adopt it even though they have not taken any action to do so since dropping it in April.
On September 7, Englewood’s representatives in the general assembly, State Sen. Jeff Bridges and State Rep. Meg Froelich, said, on X (formerly Twitter), “We’re proud to advocate for the success of this great community. Unfortunately, over the last few years we’ve seen recalls across our state against elected officials just for doing the job they were elected to do. Short of egregious misconduct, regularly scheduled elections serve as our opportunity to change representation when we disagree with their votes or their values. We urge a *no* vote on the October recall.”
Englewood City Clerk Stephanie Carlile has pegged the cost of the recall election at $137,000.
In the regular November 7 election, Sierra is being challenged by Matt Crabtree. Anderson is being challenged by Laurett Barrentine, who beat back a recall in September 2018 when she was on the city council, only to be defeated in her bid for re-election by Anderson in November 2019.
Also on the regular November 7 ballot in Englewood, where city council members serve four-year staggered terms, are 2-term incumbent Rita Russell and new candidates Tena Prange and Rick Emmelhainz. The two candidates out of the three who get the most votes will be elected to fill two four-year at-large terms on the 2023 ballot.
There is also one two-year at-large term up for election this year and four candidates have been certified to run for it, Brenda Hubka, Kim Wright, Michael Chisholm, and Peter Eckel. None are incumbents.
Englewood has 17 separate boards and commissions on which citizens can serve to have a voice in their government.
Brenda Hudka is on the city’s Planning and Zoning commission (P & Z). Tena Prange is also a member of P & Z and also serves on the Unified Development Code Steering Committee. Peter Eckel is a member of the Budget Advisory Committee. Rick Emmelhainz and Michael Chisholm both serve on the Code Enforcement Advisory Committee and the Sustainability Commission. Michael Crabtree is a member of the Historic Preservation Commission.
Ballots asking citizens of Englewood Districts one, two, and three whether they wish to recall their current city council representative are being mailed to those voters on September 11.
Regular election ballots will be sent out to all Englewood voters beginning October 16.