UPDATE: Green Mountain Falls has re-elected Mayor Lorrie Worthey. David Cook, Chris Quinn and Michael Butts were elected to the Board of Trustees.
Between meeting outbursts and squabbles on social media, it's no surprise to many voters in Green Mountain Falls that their leaders seem divided.
"I've attended several of the town meetings and stuff, and to say it's been disruptive would be a euphemism," said Craig Peterson, a resident of Green Mountain Falls.
Those who live in town received a letter from Trustee Mac Pitrone, who was recently criticized for screaming at a former town employee during a meeting.
"A lot of half truths, untruths have been spread around about the Board by the mayor and her Concerned Citizens and I thought I needed to set the record straight," Pitrone said of current Mayor Lorrie Worthey and the online group 'Concerned Citizens of Green Mountain Falls.'
The letter outlines 15 concerns he has about Mayor Lorrey Worthey:
"The following is a list of documented achievements our Mayor Worthey is first to have accomplished in GMF; there are many more, but these are documented. She was the first to have:
1. Grievances filed against herself and two department heads.
2. Been formally investigated for conduct unbecoming a mayor.
3. Been stripped of her Public Information Officer and liaison responsibilities for incompetence.
4. Three trustees walk out of a Board Meeting because she obfuscated the democratic process by refusing to call the vote after motion, second and discussion.
5. Received three votes of no confidence by her own trustees.
6. Needed a resolution to outline ethics and professional conduct.
7. Needed a social media policy generated by the Board to control her misinformation publications.
8. Failed to show up for a grant application presentation.
9. Refused to sign a FEMA grant for emergency relief funding.
10. Withheld information from the public on a library proposal.
11. Withheld information from the Board when she borrowed money from El Paso County without Board approval.
12. Withheld information from the Board when she instructed FEMA to cancel the emergency relief funding application without Board approval.
13. Signed three recall petitions and supports a special recall election against three of her own Trustees.
14. Supports a referendum against her own Town Manager.
15. Refused to participate in an electoral debate.
- Mac Pitrone"
"It's unbelievable what has happened these last two years...the dysfunction among the Board and the lack of respect and the lack of trust," said Worthey.
She told 11 News that some of the bullet points on the list are true, but that is because she was targeted for standing up for what she thinks is right.
"If I would have just said 'Yes whatever,' and never questioned anything, this letter would have never been put out. Mr. Pitrone would never have written horrible things in the newspaper. I challenged the status quo, I stood my ground. I said this isn't the best approach, this isn't right and that caused [the letter] to go out," said Worthey.
The current mayor pro-tem, Jane Newberry, was running against Worthey.
"Mac's letter is blunt but it is factual unfortunately. You can look everything up in the minutes and I think everyone should do their homework," said Newberry.
The letter also included a copy of an op-ed piece by Green Mountain Falls Town Manager Robert McArthur, where he criticizes Mayor Worthey and the Concerned Citizens of Green Mountain Falls.
Worthey released her statement to that letter to 11 News:
" Dear Citizens of Green Mountain Falls:
I was surprised today when I found out about a letter written by our "Town Boss". This letter went to the Courier and was first posted in the GMF Just the Facts Group. In this letter our "Town Boss" states that "the current mayor and the Concerned Citizens of Green Mountain Falls appear to be attempting a hostile takeover of your municipality and if successful, all you GMF property owners and residents are going to see some big changes, and you are not going to like them."
Please know that this statement is absolutely false. There will be no "hostile takeover" of the municipality if I am elected Mayor on April 1st. The opposite will happen. Here is what I will focus on during the next two years:
- I plan on working with a new board to strengthen our municipality through accountability so that employees will refrain from using their position to influence an election.
- I will focus on Public Safety and work with the new board to restore our Marshal's Department because I realize this is 2014 and we do have crime in Green Mountain Falls.
- I will work with the new board to restore the integrity of the Board of Trustees.
- I will work with the new Board of Trustees as we build our new Town Hall. I see this as something the entire board and you the public will be engaged in - not just a few Trustees and employees.
- I will lead the Board of Trustees by providing opportunities for goal setting and vision planning for our town.
- I will focus on fiscal management and budget planning that includes a line item look at the budget and all accounts our town has.
- I will work with the board to complete a comprehensive ordinance, policy and procedure review.
- I will continue promoting citizen involvement within our town and communications with our citizens.
-I will make sure that our Emergency Operation Plan is up to date and that all Trustees know what to do in the event of another disaster.
- Finally, I will support our business and work with them to bring Economic Development to our town.
These are the things that will happen if I am elected as your mayor. The parks won't go away, the pool won't disappear and the lake won't be filled in. In fact, I believe that if I am elected mayor again, our town will begin to come alive. Just the opposite of what has been written.
I appreciate your support so much. Thank you for engaging in your government and voting on April 1st.
Mayor of Green Mountain Falls"
Three southern Colorado towns are choosing key community leaders Tuesday.
Green Mountain Falls is also voting for three trustees.
Candidates for trustee are: Christopher Quinn, Margaret Peterson, David Cook and Michael Butts.
Click here for election results.