The Texas firm that La Plata County paid $223,000 to create those controversial new land-use codes has been fired, but it might be too little to late to save Commissioner Gwen Lachelt from a pending recall election.
Those land-use codes were the last straw for county residents, who were already fed up with Lachelt’s double-dealings in putting her personal and profitable environmental interests ahead of what residents there actually wanted and needed from local leaders.
Lachelt’s whacktovist politics and environmental lobbying for Western Leaders Network has a long history of pissing people off. She was using official trips to Washington as a commissioner to lobby instead for the group, and is continually absent from council meetings.
She’s been the subject of ethics probes, and on Hickenlooper’s so-called blue ribbon commission to address oil and gas development, Lachelt was the governor’s fox in the henhouse.
The recall petitions requiring more than 7,500 signatures are due March 30, and Lachelt is already collecting donors from high environmental rollers like Tom Steyer to challenge the effort.
As for the land-use codes, Lachelt named this as her top priority, then proceeded to make it a crapstorm.
Only two public hearings were held with the Texas firm in attendance, so they had little to no idea of the needs of this unique western community.
The results were rejected by the community and the county actually got a refund from the original contract price of $250,000.
From the Durango Herald:
This is not the first time a county has fired Kendig Keast and taken the financial hit for land-use codes that don’t reflect the community. In 2013, Kootenai County in northern Idaho fired the firm after spending $340,000.
It’s not surprising that Lachelt, who is tightly stuffed inside the pockets of Steyer and radical environmentalists, never intended for the new land-use code to “reflect the community.”
We look forward to her recall.