Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 has been billed $21,256 for the Feb. 16 recall of school-board member Lance McDaniel.
The bill from the county clerk and recorder’s office includes the cost of the mail ballots and envelopes, postage for sending them out, tabulation, employee overtime, mail-ballot processing, the public notice, and the services of attorney Michael Green for acting as judge during a protest filed against the recall.
McDaniel was successfully recalled by a vote of 2,776 to 1,387, a more than 2-1 decision, although the percentage of ballots returned was low. He would have faced a regular re-election vote in November 2021.
The stated reasons behind his recall were fairly vague. The petition supporting the recall stated he had shown a “lack of leadership,” and criticized him for his left-leaning social-media posts.
McDaniel was very unpopular among conservatives, including three members of the school board who signed the petition to launch the recall. During a board meeting via Zoom on Oct. 20, an anonymous caller who broke into the meeting threatened that he would “rape all your [McDaniel’s] daughters.” The call was investigated by law enforcement but the perpetrator was not found.
The Four Corners Free Press came out against the recall in an editorial.
School-board positions are unpaid.