Hot Sheet

All three Custer County commissioners could end up out of a job

Author: Dan Njegomir - August 28, 2017 - Updated: August 28, 2017

Westcliffe: Seat of Custer County government — and now a possible recall. (

Word is that the Custer County clerk in tiny Westcliffe (population 564) has certified citizens’ signatures on petitions seeking the recall of all three of the county’s commissioners. So, the pending ouster is heading to the November ballot.

We learned of it from Sangre de Cristo Sentinel Managing Editor George Gramlich, who tells us it appears to be the first recall ever to make it to the ballot for an entire county commission in Colorado and possibly in the nation.

The politically conservative Sentinel has championed the recall of Comissioners Bob Kattnig, Donna Hood and Jay Printz and hailed recall organizers. The organizers’ grievances against the commissioners, as reported by the Sentinel, includes:

…the incredible mismanagement and lies surrounding the Colorado Extension Agent Robin Young affair; the seemingly endless drive to impose a building codes ordinance on Custer County despite the obvious vast majority opposition to it; the attempt to impose a “dark skies” outdoor lighting amendment to the zoning ordinance that has criminal and financial penalties if you use the wrong outdoor light bulb or fixture; the continued public false statements by Printz concerning whether he is indeed returning the 30% salary increase to the county and not taking the county health benefits …

The newspaper also has chronicled the joust between the recall movement and the commissioners, one of whom, Printz, wrote a letter to the editor of the competing Wet Mountain Tribune, accusing the Sentinel of  lying. The Sentinel’s Gramlich then weighed in with a comeback.

Looks like a big fight is shaping up in a small county. And the media are right in the middle. We’ll keep you posted.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.