San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
ryan.hagen@inlandnewspapers.com l @sbcitynow on Twitter
Posted: 07/31/2013 09:12:56 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO — Enough signatures to force a recall election of three City Council members and City Attorney James F. Penman were turned in to the City Clerk’s Office on Wednesday, but not to recall a fourth councilman or any of those already up for election in November.

That means eight of nine elected officials responsible for the city’s problems — all but Councilman Rikke Van Johnson — will have to face the voters, said recall leader Scott Beard.

“While we are disappointed that we fell short of signatures for Johnson’s seat, we respect the will of the people and acknowledge that his will be the only seat this November that residents will not have the option for leadership change,” Beard said. “We hope that the council member will recommit himself to working collaboratively with future council members and demonstrate the leadership this city desperately needs.”

But the four officials now facing recalls — assuming legal challenges go in the recall group’s favor — say they have something in common.”It’s those of us who’ve spoken out the most strongly against the sale of the city’s water and it’s those of us who’ve spoken most strongly about the (Mayor Pat) Morris administration,” Penman said. “It’s not ironic — it’s a planned effort — but those who tried to stop the city’s slide into bankruptcy are the ones being recalled.”

The recall group announced itself with a “recall them all” strategy, but early in July announced they were focusing their resources on those not already up for election. Critics said the list of officials on the 2013 ballot rather than 2011’s — Penman, John Valdivia, Chas Kelley, Johnson and Wendy McCammack — overlapped almost completely with one bloc.

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