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Petition falls short of signatures to trigger special election to end Pueblo’s mayor-style government

KRDO NewsChannel 13

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- After filing a petition earlier in March, petitioners who want to revert back to a city manager style of government have fallen short by hundreds of signatures to trigger a special election according to the Pueblo City Clerk's Office.

Petitioners now have an additional 15 days to gather the necessary signatures.

In 2017, voters in Pueblo chose to amend the city’s charter to switch from a City Manager style of government to one with a Mayor. The following year, Nick Gradisar was elected as Pueblo’s first Mayor in more than 70 years. 

Now, just five years later, a handful of voters want to go back to the former style of government.

“I do think that when you actually talk to people, they don’t want a Mayor,” claimed Judalon Smyth, one of the petition representatives, told 13 Investigates

However, Pueblo City Clerk Marisa Stoller said petitioners are 964 signatures short of triggering an election over the issue.

The requirement to trigger a special election was 3,768. When organizers handed over the petition two weeks ago, they had 3,829 supposed signatures.

However, Stoller said there were 1,016 invalid signatures on the proposed petition.

The top reason why signatures were deemed invalid was signees were not registered voters within the city of Pueblo. There were 313 signatures tossed out for this reason.

Another 256 signatures were dismissed because the signees didn't live within the city of Pueblo, and 166 signees put down the wrong address.

Petitioners now have until March 29 to gather the necessary signatures.

If they get enough, Stoller said the special election would either take place in July or August.

The exact cost of a special election is unclear at this time according to Stoller.

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