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Template:Infobox Mayor Cara Russell was elected mayor of Buena Vista, Colorado, USA, in 2006. In 2009 she was elected as the President of the Collegiate Peaks Republican Women's Forum[no citations needed here]
In 2013, Cara Russell received the HEAL Award for personal and professional efforts to support healthy eating and active living. Russell previously served as executive director of Chaffee People’s Clinic.
Russell was re-elected on April 6, 2010, for a second term and resigned on April 20, 2010.
Attempted removal by Trustees
On October 29, 2008, Russell wrote a column for the Chaffee County Times entitled: "How big a payoff do you want?" that outlined both the advantages and disadvantages of an annexation ballot question. Several Town Trustees believed the vote to annex the Cottonwood Meadows development was lost by a mere 21 votes because of the Mayor's letter giving both the advantages and disadvantages of the real estate development.
The column prompted five of the six Town Trustees to present her with a letter of dismissal on November 10, 2008. Two weeks later, after the Trustees determined that this was not the best course of action, having been informed by the Mayor's attorney that they could be in violation of the mayor's First Amendment rights and subject to criminal charges, they voted to withdraw the letter of dismissal.
On April 16, 2010, Russell filed a Federal lawsuit against the Town of Buena Vista and five Town Trustees for violation of her First Amendment rights. On July 9, 2010, The Mountain Mail newspaper reported that the Trustees denied the allegations and contended that they were, under legal doctrines, immune from the lawsuit. They also contended Russell's public statements opposing the annexation were not protected by the First Amendment.
Russell and the Town of Buena Vista settled the lawsuit with the town paying an undisclosed amount and issuing an apology for violating her First Amendment rights.
- Kathy Davis, "Cara Russell resigns as mayor ", Chaffee County Times, April 21, 2010
- Kathy Davis, "Russell to run for county clerk", Chaffee County Times, April 14, 2010
- Cara Russell, "How big a payoff do you want?", Chaffee County Times, October 29, 2008
- Kathy Davis, "Lawsuit filed against Town of BV, trustees", Chaffee County Times, April 28, 2010
- Robert Boczkiewicz, "Trustees deny Russell's allegations", The Mountain Mail, July 9, 2010
- Kathy Davis, "Trustees approve settlement offer for lawsuit", Chaffee County Times, June 1, 2011