CRAWFORD, Colo. (KKCO)-- The mayor of Crawford is facing a recall election due to accusations of wasting taxpayer money and failing to properly conduct town meetings.
Mayor Wanda Gofforth is now trying to defend her actions. She admits that one meeting was improperly handled, but claims she was justified in using tax dollars to secure a restraining order for a town employee, who was reportedly being harassed.
Gofforth’s opponents say the $8,000 spent on the restraining order was not appropriate. They also accused of her holding private votes on the town council, which violates Colorado’s Sunshine Law for open meetings.
Now, residents of the town are taking sides, and residents describe the town's atmosphere as tense.
"They act like two-year-olds. They don’t act like grown adults. They don’t treat people with respect in this town,” said Crawford resident Tammy Broughton.
Residents said how a person is treated depends on whether they support Mayor Gofforth or not.
"I’ve never seen the town this divided until this mayor took office, and I think she's most of the reason why," said Crawford resident Pat O’Shaughnessy.
Gofforth says she believes the criticism is misplaced
"They think I’m like the president, like I have executive power. I do not. The mayor has no more power than the other trustees," said Mayor Gofforth. "I just feel that what is right is what we did. We might have made an error with one meeting, but other than that we have been very open about what is going on."
She also thinks it is time for the town move on.
"Let it go in the past. We can move forward and do positive things for our community. That's what we need to do,” said Mayor Gofforth.
Driving into town, there are signs on every corner claiming a love for Crawford. So, for a town beaming with pride, it is unexpected to hear this from residents:
"I’m ashamed to even say I’m from Crawford," said Broughton.