Publicly and verbally scourged by Teller County commissioners, in addition to being the subject of a recall initiated by the county's Republican Party Central Committee, J.J. Jamison, clerk & recorder, resigned Jan. 28. Jamison, a Republican, was elected to office in Nov. 2010.
Jamison's troubles began 18 months before the primary election in June, when the Secretary of State's office took over her election duties after a series of mishaps. With Al Davidson as the designated election official, Jamison was off the hot seat for a time.
However, in the fall, Teller County commissioner Dave Paul went public with his censure of Jamison. In November, then-commission chair Jim Ignatius publicly berated Jamison during a commissioners' meeting, highlighting the costs to the county as a result of the employment of Davidson and his assistant Deb Silva. As Ignatius raged, Jamison recorded the minutes.
Shortly before leaving office, Ignatius exposed Jamison's lack of attention to details, including late payment of the county's bills to various entities, among them, the city of Woodland Park.
By the end of January, Jamison had had enough.
Upon receiving the resignation letter, effective Feb. 1, commissioners Paul and the recently-elected Marc Dettenrieder and Norm Steen held an emergency meeting.
Paul released this statement: “We designated Chief Deputy Clerk and Recorder Krystal Brown as the acting Clerk to insure that the day-to-day operations of the office will be conducted in an orderly fashion.
“Replacement of the Clerk for the remainder of the current term will be conducted over the next few weeks under conditions to be determined shortly. Our goal is to find a suitable replacement in an expeditious and transparent manner who can provide the levels of service and responsibility that the citizens of Teller County deserve.
“It is unfortunate when the plans and expectations of any elected official are curtailed by public sentiment. The time had long passed when a resignation would have been in the best interest of the taxpayers, but now that it has occurred, we will concentrate on repairing the damage and look forward to appointing an individual who can move the office forward in a positive manner.”
Learning of the resignation, Pete LaBarre, chairman of the RPCC, said, “I'm pleased that Mrs. Jamison took the appropriate fiscal and moral approach to resolving the dilemma that she created.”
Carolyn Fairchild, from the RPCC and a member of the recall committee, said of Jamison's resignation: “I'm relieved that she did the right thing by stepping down and saving the taxpayers the cost and aggravation of a recall. I'm also saddened; I like J.J. and hoped she would have been able to step up to the plate and be the clerk and recorder the citizens elected. But I'm glad it's over.”
Laurie Glauth, chairman of the Teller County Democrats and a member of the recall committee, agreed with LaBarre and Fairchild. “J.J.'s resigning was the right thing to do; it's unfortunate that it had to come to the point of a recall but her resignation restores integrity to the office,” Glauth said. “It is an issue of integrity and trusting in the process; this is an example that the process does work. Her resignation is the best thing for the county and the taxpayers.”
In a press release to the newspaper, Scott Glessler, the Secretary of State, states: “Teller County residents deserve honest and fair elections. We will continue to work with the new clerk and recorder during this transition to achieve this goal.”