By Suzanne Hurt | | The Press-Enterprise
February 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

An effort to recall three Corona City Council members fizzled when the group was unable to gather enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot by the Sunday, Feb. 18 deadline.

A small group of volunteers, led by longtime city resident Joe Morgan, collected between 4,200 and 4,300 signatures by setting up tables outside Walmart and other means.

But that was so far below the number of signatures needed – 15 percent of the city’s registered voters, or roughly 10,500 — that the group stopped gathering signatures in early Februrary and didn’t submit any over Presidents Day weekend to the city clerk, whose office had announced Thursday it would open for two hours on Sunday to accept them.

“We’re not turning ’em in. We’re not there and it’s not going to happen,” said Morgan, an adjunct Riverside City College automotive technology instructor who spearheaded the “Save Corona Recall,” on Thursday. “We’re done.”

Recall proponents had 160 days from Sept. 11, the date the recall petition was approved by the city clerk, to turn in signatures in an effort to oust Mayor Karen Spiegel, Vice-Mayor Eugene Montanez and Councilman Dick Haley, who was mayor in September.

Riverside County Assistant Registrar of Voters Art Tinoco said clerks and voting officials typically don’t require signatures to be submitted on a Sunday, but would roll the deadline over to the next business day — in this case, Tuesday.

The group of community-minded citizens who mounted the recall disagrees with some council actions and launched the effort amid fears the council would approve a railroad grade separation — where an overpass or underpass is built so the road and tracks don’t intersect — at McKinley Street to solve traffic and safety problems. The council and city staff are still studying options and costs.To read expa