The 5-Minute Challenge (scroll down to watch the videos)

5 minute

Barrentine’s behavior on council is obstructive and abrasive. She regularly gets caught in half-truths and contradictions. But don’t take our word for it… watch for yourself.

Here’s the challenge, watch five minutes worth of video from the three videos below. Then vote! Does her behavior reflect the kind of representation you want?

If you want to spend more time on this, please watch the full relevant sections from the council meetings to get more context (links provided below). Or watch any council meeting or study session! Pay attention to her fractured relationships with city staff and fellow council members. Listen for the cutting remarks, interruptions and off-topic filibusters. See for yourself.

Barrentine Obstructed Staff Efforts to Hire an Emergency Manager, Leaving us Unprepared for the Flood:

 

The entire discussion in the study session is worth watching (here). (The relevant section of the video 3:31:20)

Barrentine’s Cloak and Dagger Scandal:

 

The full 31 minute discussion is available at the end of the article here.

14 Former Council Member’s (including 4 former mayors) Endorse Recall:

 

 

14 Former Council Members (including 4 former Mayors) Endorse Recall

Below is a list of 14 former Englewood Council Members including four former Mayors who support and endorse a YES VOTE FOR THE RECALL of current District 3 Council Member, Laurett Barrentine. These former elected officials represent decades of dedicated and committed public service to our city – many are your neighbors. They all served on City Council with the best interests of our community foremost in their minds. Council policies, procedures and decorum were followed. Although there was disagreement between these council members during their respective terms in office, compromise, respect and civility towards one another, City staff and citizens was practiced and maintained.

The following ENDORSE a YES VOTE on the RECALL OF DISTRICT 3 COUNCIL MEMBER LAURETT BARRENTINE:

*Beverly Bradshaw
Rick Gillit
Alex Habenicht
Jim Higday
Gary Kozacek
Bob McCaslin
Wayne Oakley
*Randy Penn
Ray Tomasso
Kells Waggoner
*Clyde Wiggins
Jill Wilson
*Jim Woodward
Steve Yates

*Former Mayors

A Letter From Randy Penn

Let’s Make One Thing Clear.

This recall is about only one person—Council Member Laurett Barrentine. Her behavior has been, and is still, unacceptable.

She claims to be the guardian of the City’s money. In fact, Englewood’s Charter and State Statute require that the budget must balance each and every year. If Ms. Barrentine’s votes against the balanced budgets were to prevail our City and its services would come to a standstill.

She claims the recall is costing the citizens money. While this is true, I believe that the cost outweighs the expense her behavior has on City progress. For example, Ms. Barrentine’s concern for the cost of special elections evaporated earlier this year when instead of reaching consensus to appoint District 1’s council replacement for Joe Jefferson (as the charter requires), a special election was forced. Polarization on the important issues facing Englewood costs money and is working against Englewood’s bright future.

Ms. Barrentine adds to expenses through ongoing interruptions when she blocks or delays council votes. By requesting more (and more again) information, additional staff time is required and sometimes overtime pay. The result is delay, dysfunction, inaction and added cost. This district needs a council member who studies the issues, comes to the table ready to discuss, will compromise to reach consensus and votes. Englewood’s future depends on a city council that solves real issues without unjustifiable delays.

Ms. Barrentine claims to be a friend of the businesses in Englewood but constantly works to nullify new resident building and interferes with businesses that she dislikes. She shows no interest in developing a sensible growth plan for Englewood’s future. New residents create new money for our businesses, old and new—and necessary City resources. Our future depends on a functional City at all levels starting with city council.

Ms. Barrentine fails to use the procedural chain of command. In bypassing the city manager, it causes problems for everyone. Going around the city manager to the department directors or employees is not acceptable behavior.

Please don’t take my word for this. Go to englewoodrecall.com, or watch nearly any city council meeting or study session, to see for yourself. Many demonstrate the unprofessional lack of decorum I feel is so damaging to Englewood’s reputation and future.

Our district deserves a council member that delves into each issue, follows the Charter, acts in good faith for the best interests of Englewood, and is always transparent to everyone at all times, not just when convenient. That person should work to better the City and be a positive representative to all employees, citizens, and those visiting the City of Englewood. Englewood’s future depends on it!

It is time to RECALL BARRENTINE!

Randy Penn

Police Report: Barrentine’s Aggressive Behavior

UPDATE: Englewood Herald story available here.

At the May 7 City Council meeting Barrentine attempted to intimidate fellow council member Cheryl Wink so that Wink wouldn’t do her job. As an at-large council member, Wink is responsible to hear the concerns of the whole city, including the voters in Barrentine’s district. During a discussion of the concerns about Barrentine that prompted the recall, Wink reported to the council that as an at-large member, she’d heard Englewood citizens voice similar concerns.  

Barrentine stormed up to Council Member Wink, shouting, “I helped you get elected!” After the meeting, Barrentine followed Wink out of Council chambers and into the 2nd floor lobby, continuing to yell at her. (See this police report for further details.)

Council Member Wink was just doing her job: reporting to the council on the concerns of Englewood citizens. She’s not supposed to dodge that responsibility because Barrentine helped her campaign. Barrentine’s response—storming up to the physically smaller Wink, shouting at her, and following her as she left, continuing to shout—that’s classic bully behavior. We have a right to expect better from a council member.

Stirring up Conflict in the Community

Ms. Barrentine’s track record of stirring up discord and division on council is well known, but the problem is actually much worse than that. Ms. Barrentine has been actively inciting conflict between neighbors, between neighboring businesses and between residents and city staff.

In order to do this, Ms. Barrentine will either find or manufacture a grievance between two parties in the community. Then she’ll take the side of whichever party is the loudest and angriest. Then she’ll do whatever is in her power to attack the other side regardless of legal or ethical boundaries. Her unethical tactics include personal attacks, false accusations and treating gossip and hearsay as fact. She will make accusations against constituents and businesses in her district from the dias or in study sessions, publicly slandering people she is supposed to be representing. She has circumvented the chain of command to unduly influence city staff in direct violation of the charter.

This is malfeasance of the highest order. Of course, she doesn’t often win these battles, but they are very costly to the city in terms of time wasted, growing discord, distrust, and unrest in the community.

Many residents of District 3 are fed up with the fighting and division. At the same time, the few residents Ms. Barrentine has sided with seem to see her as a kind of savior. A responsible council member initiates inquiries on a constiuent’s behalf through the City Manager’s office so as not to exercise undue influence on Code Enforcement and other city departments. Ms. Barrentine should do the same; she does not. Instead, she attempts to exercise undue influence to curry favor with a small but vocal minority of angry people, who in turn defend her (often using the same attack tactics she does) and speak of her with genuflecting reverence.

That is exactly the kind of conflict we don’t need. The growing sense of anger and discontent in Englewood, and especially in District 3, has to end. We need to replace Ms. Barrentine with a council member who will lead District 3 toward a culture of mutual respect, dialog and decency.