"No show" trustees cause controversy at Monument meeting - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

"No-show" trustees cause controversy at Monument meeting

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The fate of three women, employed by the town of Monument, was decided by a technicality at Wednesday night's Board of Trustees meeting.

"It's sad that it has to come to this and there's no 'why.'  There's no reason.  We've asked, 'why?  What are we doing wrong?  Why would you even do this?" said Pamela Smith, who has been the town's treasurer for the past 13 years.

Wednesday was the final day the board could reappoint the town's attorney, clerk, and treasurer.

Up to this point, the vote was a 3-3 split.

Trustees could have voted to go into an executive session and receive legal counsel, if at least four of the six showed up. 

Three of them--Greg Coopman, Laurie Clark, and Jeffrey Bornstein--were no-shows, though.

Legally, it means there couldn't be a vote--which, in turn, let the grace period for reappointment expire.

It forced the meeting to be adjourned almost as quickly as it started.

"It's devastating," said Kelly Elliot, who serves as Mayor Pro Tem on the Monument Board of Trustees.

"At the blink of an eye, or a lack of a vote, they're not voted back.  And that's not a good way to treat people," she told News5.

Their absence didn't sit well with the trustees who did show up--or community members, who took to the podium to make their voices heard.

Former trustee John Howe says he was especially frustrated with two of the missing trustees.

"Coopman and Bornstein both approved of them [Pamela Smith, Town Treasurer; and Laura Hogan, Town Clerk] before.  And suddenly, to come up with this is unexplainable."

Every community member who spoke Wednesday night did so in favor of the three women, whose jobs were on the chopping block.

They say the decision doesn't just hurt staff.

"I think the entire town has been thrown into chaos by these three trustees for no apparent reason, or no reason they're willing to give," said Monarch resident Dede Laugesen.

It could take months to appoint people to these positions, making the future uncertain.

"I will come in tomorrow as acting town manager and do what I can do, damage control-wise.  I don't know about Alicia.  I really don't know about Laura.  We just have to see what happens," said Smith.

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