Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/22/2012 07:10:29 PM PDT
Special Section: San Bernardino
SAN BERNARDINO – A recall campaign against a San Bernardino city councilman has broadened into a push to remove not only him but three other council members.
The “straw that broke the camel’s back” in the decision to recall Councilman Chas Kelley was his vote not to put a repeal of the city’s charter on the ballot, said attorney Tim Prince, an organizer of the effort.
A majority of the council voted the same way, and charter repeal will not be put on November’s ballot.
Now, Prince says he and the organization he helped found – Save Our San Bernardino – are preparing to file four petitions: a petition to hold a special election to vote on repealing the city’s charter and recall petitions against Kelley, Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Wendy McCammack.
“We’ve had people literally come in by the droves asking to join our effort, and we’re kind of taking a broad perspective on the repeal of the city charter option and the recalls,” Prince said. “Our plan is to offer both options to petition signers at the same time to maximize the time for the signature gatherers, so we’re kind of in a gearing-up phase.”
The two residents of Kelley’s 5th Ward who filed a notice of intention to pursue a recall against Kelley withdrew their request Aug. 16.
That was because one of those residents couldn’t handle the pressure of being at the center of the effort but also to coordinate the filings and save the city money, Prince said.
If recall petitions aren’t filed at the same time, the city would be locked in to holding multiple special elections at a cost of $90,000 to $120,000 each, according to City Clerk Gigi Hanna.
To be valid under the city charter, a recall petition must collect signatures from 25 percent of the registered voters in the ward represented by the council member to be recalled. Those signatures must be filed within 90 days of the notice of intent to circulate a recall petition.
Then, Hanna legally must certify the signatures within 30 days, and a recall election must be held between 50 and 70 days after that.
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