Conspiracy Theories

Barrentine regularly perpetuates and promotes baseless conspiracy theories that divide our community, waste time and distract from real issues. It takes courage and integrity to confront those promoting baseless conspiracy theories. Barrentine, however, does the opposite. She stokes the flames of misguided conspiracy theorists in an attempt to manipulate their passion and fear for her own political benefit. This behavior can be seen over and over again throughout Barrentine’s tenure on Council.

An excellent example of this is Barrentine’s perpetuation of the repeatedly disproven “Agenda 21” conspiracy theory. To summarize, this baseless conspiracy theory claims that the United Nations intends to essentially take over control of local governments through its voluntary action plan that offers suggestions for sustainable ways governments can combat poverty and protect the environment in the 21st Century (hence the “21.”) In 1992, the US, led by George H.W. Bush, and 177 other nations voted to adopt the program, which is not legally binding. Since then, conspiracy theorists like Barrentine have claimed that this is some sort of attempt to create a “one-world government.”

Don’t believe that Council Member Barrentine would actually believe this nonsense? See this email to fellow Council Member Rita Russell, where Barrentine suspects a municipal “Inclusivity Board” in Westminster of being a part of the “Agenda 21” conspiracy that doesn’t exist. This public email was received via a Colorado Open Records Act request.

If you think our elected officials should focus on real issues rather than fake ones, vote YES to recall Barrentine by September 18th.

 

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.

Rigged Debates

Laurett Barrentine has a long history of attempting to trick Englewood voters by setting up rigged debates. In a real debate, in order to guarantee a level playing field for everyone, all parties agree in advance on the time, place, format, and moderator. In Barrentine’s rigged debates, here’s the pattern:

  1. Barrentine chooses a time and place, invites a moderator (typically one of her friends), and even makes the fliers.
  2. She will then have someone invite the participants to the debates. Her favored candidates will know the invitation is coming, but no one else does. About the same time (without waiting for a response from the other participants), her people will publicly announce the debate, claiming that all the invited participants will be there.
  3. She then has some of her people distribute fliers announcing the event and claiming that the participants will be there. These are not distributed throughout the relevant district, but just to the houses in close proximity to the participants’ homes. The goal is to create the illusion that everyone knows they will be coming to the debate—-whether or not they have agreed.
  4. This puts the participants in a bind. If they are not her favored candidate, they will face a rigged debate where the format and moderator are already stacked against them. If they reject the invitation, they will be accused of refusing to publicly debate. The goal, of course, is to convince the voters that her favored candidate is the best choice by rigging the debate from the start.

This little trick worked pretty well for a few years, but last year the whole thing began to unravel. In October, Barrentine planned a debate and designed the flier using her organization “Englewood Citizens for an Open Government” (Barrentine’s home address was identified in documents as the address for ECOG) and directed her friend (and front person for ECOG) Belinda Porter to distribute the fliers. The problem came when all three at-large candidates declined the invitation.

Instead, they all attended a fair, even-handed debate hosted by another organization. ECOG tried the same trick again in the 2018 special election for district 1. Two of the three candidates refused to attend the rigged debate (although of course Barrentine’s favored candidate was happy to attend). Once again, another group hosted a real debate with all three candidates in attendance.

When the rigged debate trick failed for a second time in a row, it was apparent that ECOG had lost all credibility. But suddenly a new organization appeared—Englewood Citizens for City Transparency—again fronted by Barrentine’s cronies. With the recall coming up, the new organization ran exactly the same play, planning a rigged debate moderated by one of Barrentine’s friends.

Recall Election Date Set: September 18, 2018

Mail ballots will be sent to registered District 3 Englewood voters on August 27, 2018. Ballots MUST be returned by 7 PM on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 to be counted.

The Recall of Laurett Barrentine from City Council will be the only issue on the ballot. For a positive and cooperative future for Englewood VOTE YES on the recall!

If the recall is successful, Laurrett Barrentine will be immediately removed from City Council and an election for her successor will be scheduled.

“You want a piece of me?” -Barrentine

Aside from regularly antagonizing and chastising both City employees and citizens she disagrees with who appear before Council, on August 15, 2016, Council Member Barrentine took her aggressive and unprofessional behavior to new heights. While returning to a Council meeting from an executive Council session, she stated to Englewood City Manager, “you want a piece of me?” This type of conduct would not be tolerated in any workplace in America and it should not be tolerated on our City Council. Manager Keck relays the story to all of Council in the following video clip from a public meeting while imploring Council to address the dysfunctional dynamic perpetuated by Member Barrentine.

Take a look at the video of the incident for yourself below. The statement is made in the last several seconds of the video (turn your volume up):