Elizabeth’s Elected Officials Are Facing Recall Elections Over How Fast The Town Is Growing

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Elizabeth voters will decide whether to recall seven of their elected leaders over concerns about how the town is growing.

A hearing officer determined Thursday that signatures on the recall petitions were valid. 

Two members of the board of trustees face a recall election in December. The mayor and the other four trustees face one in April.

Petitioners say the town is developing too fast. They blame the trustees and mayor.

All of the board members filed protests after signatures were received seeking to have the petitions thrown out. Two of them had an error on the notarization on their protests, which is why they are facing a recall election Dec. 17, according to Town Administrator Matt Cohrs. A state law requires 180 days of space between a regular election and a recall election for candidates that were newly elected, which is why the mayor and the four trustees will face their possible ouster in April.

Cohrs said the city is simply trying to accommodate the population growth. Officials there project the town will grow by 20,000 people over the next 20 years.

“We are preparing a plan to figure out how we’re going to manage this growth, what do we want it to look like, what kind of town we want to be, and so on,” Cohrs said. “And I think that’s what really impacted people and got some people upset.” 

Some housing developments that were approved by the town more than a decade ago are being built after the 2009 recession slowed them down.

Coors also said the city is looking to add more employment opportunities, housing options, and improved traffic controls. 

Elizabeth’s current population is less than 2,000.