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Ballots pour in for recall


   Ballots are pouring in at the Jefferson County Clerk's Office in the recall election for Commission Chairman Walt Ponsford.
   As of Tuesday morning, Kathy Marston, county clerk, said there were over 1,000 ballots returned for the Oct. 10 election. "It's a good turnout," she said, noting that about 9,250 ballots were mailed out on Friday.
   The recall committee says that Ponsford "has exposed the taxpayers of Jefferson County to millions of dollars in damages for mishandling Measure 37 claims," which allow longtime property owners to seek waivers to let them to use property as was permitted when they acquired the property.
   "I'm accused of doing what the whole rest of the state is already doing," said Ponsford, whose current term ends Dec. 31. "I'm following the standards the rest of the state follows."
   "Recall is supposed to be about removal of dishonest and fraudulent office holders -- not about political disagreements," he said.
   The committee is collecting signatures for the same reason for a recall election for Commissioner Bill Bellamy. Each election is expected to cost between $6,500 and $8,000, according to Marston.
   The October vote will have no effect on the November election, in which Ponsford is seeking re-election. Bellamy has two years of his term left to serve.