Read Why Below
Contact: Integrity Matters
Recall of Stephannie Fortune Withdrawn
November 2nd, 2022, Colorado Springs, CO - Last week, City Councilmember Randy Helms contacted Integrity Matters to share that Stephannie Fortune has a serious health condition and has decided she will not run for any city council seat in April of 2023. Councilmember Helms asked that we withdraw the recall. We asked for a public statement to the media to confirm. Today, that statement was made. As a result of this news, we will be withdrawing the recall of Ms. Fortune.
We understand that many recall supporters and our volunteers will be very unhappy with this decision. In the interest of transparency, here are the concerns raised as we deliberated whether or not to withdraw the recall:
The recall language refers to Ms. Fortune's dishonesty on this very subject. Objectors noted that Wayne Williams had as his screening question of all the candidates a requirement that they run for office in April 2023. We believe that was to knock Sallie Clark out of the running as he feared she would get too much publicity to run against him for the mayoral job. Regardless, Ms. Fortune replied yes to that question. Then, when hundreds of emails flooded city councilmembers inboxes, and Ms. Fortune was knocked out of the first round, the press asked her if she would run in April 2023 to which she replied she would not. In fact, angry D3 residents pointed this out to Councilmember Williams, noting he could no longer support her as a candidate. He ignored that and continued to push for her appointment and is also one of many reasons we are recalling him. This was a rigged process with zero integrity at the expense of all the other candidates who were far more qualified and had actually lived in the district for decades in many cases.
Objectors to this decision feared that there is nothing to prevent Ms. Fortune from changing her mind.
Objectors noted she was quite public about her past illnesses robustly writing about it in online blogs as well as sharing it during her interview with city council and found the fact that she would not confirm to the media who asked a month ago troubling.
Objectors noted that D3 constituents have a right to know since she is a public figure engaged in voting on D3 constituents' behalf.
Objectors noted that we have been informed by other groups that she has refused to engage on issues citing this health issue which they believe is further support of the recall.
We want those who will be unhappy with this decision to understand that we did consider these issues and have still decided that we have to assume what is being told to us is true and halt the recall. This is an excellent example of why integrity DOES matter; we shouldn't have to pause over news like this and should stop tolerating so much dishonesty, even from politicians, as if that's okay. It isn't. Ever. Until we set that bar back to where it used to be, we will continue to face these ethical quagmires. This should have been an easy decision, and it wasn't because of the breach of public trust.
We wish Ms. Fortune excellent health. The recall of Councilmember Williams continues as planned.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.
Why the Recall?
An outcry from District 3 citizens over Stephannie Fortune's highly controversial appointment to replace Richard Skorman continues. Residents do not feel represented and felt that the process was rigged as all of the other candidates were clearly more qualified both in terms of work experience and education and, most importantly, they all had actually lived in the district for decades in some case. Ms. Fortune moved into D3 a month after Richard Skorman announced his resignation. Her record has been, not surprisingly, very pro-development and not representative of the biggest concerns D3 residents have involving evacuation times and public safety. Her work on the 2D, Tabor refund dollars to mitigate fire risk was woefully disappointing. That money has not yet been spent (almost a year after it was passed and which many felt was a hail Mary attempt to stop City Council from shooting down 2424 which is when Mayor Suthers proposed it - right before that vote) as they contract for someone to thin out underbrush and trees in a canyon south of Cheyenne Mountain State Park -- a whopping 300 acres which is a drop in the bucket. What should have happened is to mitigate the trees hanging over power lines up and down the roads that are surrounding by houses, the biggest fuels and roads she uses everyday. She also did not support or engaged with constituents on the Clearance Evacuation Time & Public Safety Ordinance which her constituents wrote - not a single attempt to reach out and discuss these widespread concerns.
At a minimum, a representative should have lived in a district at least a year - ideally much longer to truly understand issues the RESIDENTS have not the developers. She hasn't yet lived here a year, and her appointment was a gross abuse of power amidst outcry from the D3 voters -- hundreds of emails objecting. What does it say about the ethics of an individual who would even put their hat in the ring having just moved into the district a month after the seat was vacated?
Enough of the special interests controlling our politicians. More to come. We understand and share the frustrations we have been hearing from so many and are willing to do the heavy lifting, but, to be successful, we need people to sign up to help and donate, Thank you for your support and more to come. Sign up for our newsletters at the bottom of this page.