Trustee Laurie Clark was censured by the Monument Board of Trustees during its May 4 meeting.
Mayor pro tem Kelly Elliott read a statement at the end of the board’s regular meeting that alleged Clark has been “disseminating false information.” Elliott made a motion for censure with Trustee Jim Romanello providing a second.
The censure passed by a vote of 5-2 with Clark and recently elected Trustee Jamy Unruh voting against.
“I would like to say I am not guilty of what I’ve been censured for, and I will bring an attorney to come to bear on this matter,” Clark said after the vote.
Elliott responded, “Any of us on the Board of Trustees for the town must provide accurate information for our citizens. When it comes to issues related to the town, we as a board agreed that the town manager or, in certain circumstances, the mayor would speak on behalf of the town when necessary.”
Elliott’s statement went on to cite instances in which Trustee Clark had “grossly miscommunicated” information broadcast on a local TV station March 23, in which KRDO reported that Monument was going into lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“At the time of this report, town staff, the majority of the board and other local authorities had never discussed nor planned a lockdown,” Elliott said.
Elliott went on to say on March 24, in an email correspondence, KRDO reporter Scott Harris disclosed the source of the misinformation was Trustee Clark.
In the May 2020 edition of the Jackson Creek Monthly neighborhood newsletter, an opinion column written by Clark was published, the content of which was also mentioned in Elliott’s statement. Clark’s column mentions a resident who lived in the Sante Fe Trails area of Monument during 2016-2019 and was diagnosed with breast cancer during that time. The column also publishes a letter from the resident and her family explaining their story of struggle with the disease.
“Based on what Trustee Clark infers, this woman developed breast cancer because of the town’s water supply and has no history of breast cancer in her family],” Elliott said. “I just want to mention that 85% of the women who develop breast cancer have no family history.”
Although Clark never states in the column that the woman’s breast cancer is due to radium in the town’s municipal water supply, she said the affected family has requested the resident’s doctors “research and study the facts to see if there is a direct relationship to radium exposure in the water provided by the town and the unexpected breast cancer.”
“The association of radium to one person with breast cancer is a communication that does not include all the facts about radium, our water supply and breast cancer statistics to all that receive the Jackson Creek Monthly,” said Elliott, a Jackson Creek resident.
Elliott said she felt it is a responsibility of the board to protect its citizens of Monument against “these types of disturbing behaviors which cause unease in our community.”
Before the vote for censure commenced, Mayor Don Wilson asked Clark if she had any comments.
“I believe that with a censure, I am supposed to have the right to be able to answer the situation,” Clark said. “I would like the time to be able to do that before you all make a determination on what you are going to do.”
Wilson said the motion appeared not to be a formal censure but rather a “simple motion.”