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Buena Vista reclaiming state recall championship

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – May 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Buena Vista reclaiming state recall championship

After Park County recalled its commissioners, and Leadville took out a school board member, Buena Vista might have been in danger of losing its title as the “Recall Capital of Colorado.”

But do not despair for the town’s honor — most of its trustees now face a recall election.

Early this year, David Clyne, the town administrator, fired Police Chief Jim Tidwell. The town trustees upheld that dismissal at their next meeting, but would not go into detail, since Tidwell had not given the town permission to release his personnel files.

Tidwell had his fans in Buena Vista. Not only did they attend meetings and protest, but they also carried picket signs. And on March 12, they started circulating recall petitions against four trustees: Doug Robinson, Loyd Hendrix, Russ Martin, and Frank Delker.

As we went to press, it appeared that the petitions would be accepted (only 49 signatures were needed on each), and that a recall election would be scheduled on June 1 or 8.

“I want to get this over with as soon as we can,” Mayor Clint Driscoll said, “before the big onslaught of tourists.”

Trustees who face recall — a majority of the board — have held off on hiring a new police chief, since they might be replaced by a board that would want to fire any new chief and rehire Tidwell.

Meanwhile, the town has also received notice from Tidwell’s attorney that he intends to sue the town for $350,000 on grounds that range from wrongful termination to defamation.