El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark will have some competition next year as she tries to win a third term under a controversial term-limits extension.
Karen Magistrelli filed paperwork Tuesday to be a Republican candidate in District 3, which covers the west side of Colorado Springs to the county line.
Clark and Commissioners Amy Lathen, Dennis Hisey and Wayne Williams voted to place a measure on the November 2010 ballot that would "limit" commissioners to three, four-year terms, rather than asking voters to allow extension from two terms to three. Commissioners also placed similar measures on the November 2010 ballot for treasurer, clerk and recorder (Williams is now serving as clerk and recorder) and assessor. The sheriff already is entitled to three terms under a previously approved ballot measure.
Only then-commissioner Jim Bensberg opposed the measures.
Now, voters upset with the deceptive wording are trying to oust Clark, Lathen and Hisey. Already, Auddie Cox, an Army and Air Force vet from the Fountain Valley, has filed to run against Hisey.
But for Magistrelli of Green Mountain Falls, who's lived in El Paso County for 27 years, it's more personal.
A former special education teacher and mother of seven, the 65-year-old Magistrelli has started several businesses, developed land and started a High Winds nonprofit that helps ex-cons integrate in the community.
But her High Winds project was a royal pain when it came to gaining county approval.
She and her husband acquired 147 acres years ago from Green Mountain Falls and want to build seven homes for the High Winds agency.
When it was finally approved in September after nearly a three-year fight, "I came out crying. I was crying because we shouldn't have had to fight this long and spend this much money to build on our own land. What has happened to property rights?"
She said the county's requirements were "unreasonable," and that Clark not only voted against her project (she and Glenn were on the losing end of a 3-2 vote), but also "put on the table requirements that were impossible to meet so our land would have been worthless."
While the development issue triggered her candidacy, Magistrelli says she was up in arms last year over the term-limits issue.
"I was furious," she says. "Somebody's going to have to say this is serious."
Magistrelli, who has never held elective office, filed her candidate affidavit with the Secretary of State's Office today.
Here's her release:
I’m Karen Magistrelli. My husband of 39 years and I, have lived and worked in El Paso County for over 27 years. I’m running for County Commissioner in District 3 — the west side of El Paso County encompassing Chipita Park, Cascade, Green Mountain Falls, Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City and Colorado Springs. I’m beyond just concerned for our country. I’m ready to fight back to reduce waste, restore trust and integrity and return to principles of freedom.
Why am I concerned? - Government shenanigans. It’s like when parents tell their children, “Clean your room.” Soon the children return saying the work is done. You check on their progress and sure enough, on the surface it looks like a job well done. Then, when you look under the bed or in the closet — there is all the trash from the room (all the trash from the government shenanigans) — covered up. Shenanigans! Not totally honest, hidden agendas. For instance, look at the term limit question; was there a hidden agenda in that wording? It is only because of the confusing, deceptive language of the term limit ballot issue that my opponent can seek a third term and that is part of the reason I’m seeking your vote.
For years my husband and I have worked to save wasted lives by taking ex-prisoners into our home to help them re-start their lives. We see other waste. Massive amounts of your taxpayer monies are being squandered by inefficiency and waste in time, energy, money, self-serving projects and agendas by government at all levels. The most tragic waste of all is the waste of our heritage — we are throwing away the incredible heritage of freedom that so many of our men and women gave their lives to protect.
We need to look at the destruction of free enterprise and loss of jobs from excessive government regulations. I have personal experience with unreasonable regulations. Our family moved out of poverty and have since established, together, four corporations and a limited liability partnership; we purchased and remodeled a commercial building; excavated a road and developed raw land for home sites; we were the contractors in building four family homes; we established and still run a non-profit which provides a home and support for men in crisis. We saw powerful, misdirected government entities demand regulations that multiplied our costs and at times almost forced us to close.
My qualifications for serving you come from life in the private sector. I’m not a career politician.
It would be a privilege and an honor to receive your vote to bring limited government, fiscal responsibility, integrity and conservative values back to El Paso County. You, the citizen of Commissioner District 3, now have a choice.
Respectfully submitted to the people of El Paso County, Commissioner District 3,