|“We’ve never done this before,” says Custer County Clerk Kelley Camper, referring to a petition to recall County District 1 Commissioner Bob Kattnig. The petition has been filed, and is being circulated by the three people comprising “the committee designated to represent the signers in all matters affecting the petition.” They are Darla Dee Wilhite, 3675 CR 328; Jaxine Campbell Bubis, 3656 CR 182; and Carol Dianne Clemenson, 1600 Comanche Rd., all of Westcliffe.
The grounds for recall are stated on the petition as follows:
“Mr. Kattnig has proven over and over that he is incompetent in the office of Commissioner. He has even stated to the Colorado Secretary of State the reason he did not file the documentation at the end of last November was because of his incompetence. So he readily admits it. Many commissioner meetings are called to a halt as he indicates he has not read or is not prepared to make a ruling. This is a concern as it is important to county business to act in a timely manner. He is also misogynistic, treating women with total disdain. His actions in public reveal his total disdain for authority. He appears to feel that everyone should be in agreement with him at all times when most of the time he has no idea what he is talking about. He represented himself as a rancher when he was running for office. It is well known and of public record that he owns only 20 acres not a ranch.”
The petitioners must gather 396 qualified and verifiable signatures in order to have the recall become a ballot issue. They have 60 days from the date the petition application was filed to return the documents to the County Clerk’s office for verification.
The filing was made last Friday, July 15, bringing the 60 day limit to September 12. If the petition is successfully recorded in a timely manner with the County Clerk, then the Kattnig recall becomes a local issue on the November general election ballot.
The petition itself is actually headed “petition to recall and demand the election of a successor.” Those who would be running to fill a vacant position created by recall would also be on the same November ballot. He or she would also have to petition to be on the ballot, but cannot do so until this recall petition is turned in and verified. “The timing is pretty tight,” Camper notes, as the ballot must be approved by September 9.
When asked if there were costs the county has to cover in the recall process, Camper again points out that not having done this before, there is no sure and certain knowledge of that. There are printing costs but that cannot be determined at this time, nor can the cost of County Clerk staff time expended on the matter be foretold.
When contacted by the Tribune, Commissioner Kattnig said he is choosing not to comment on the petition at this time.
– W.A. Ewing