Recallers Pass Number Of Names Needed For Littlefield Recall

Lawsuit Expected To Seek To Block Nov. 2 Mayoral Vote

Friday, August 27, 2010

The recall of Mayor Ron Littlefield was apparently accomplished on Friday afternoon as the number of valid signatures rose to just above the number needed.

Charlotte Mullis-Morgan, election administrator, said shortly after 5 p.m. that the office had validated 9,071 of the 14,708 names brought in by the recallers. The number needed was 8,957.

Mr. Littlefield remains as mayor until the election and either he or another candidate is selected by the voters.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Littlefield, said if the mayor is recalled "he will absolutely run again and will run harder than ever."

Ms. Mullis-Morgan said the recall would likely mean "that we will be in court next week."

Mayor Littlefield has retained attorney Hal North to represent him.

One issue likely to be cited is whether or not state law is controlling on a recall. Under state law, the recallers would need over 15,000 valid signatures. The Election Commission recently ruled that the less-strict city charter standard applied. However, it was noted that "there are arguments on both sides."

The election panel set a deadline of Sept. 7 for candidates for mayor to apply. Mayor Littlefield will be eligible to run. Sept. 9 is the final day to withdraw.

Ms. Mullis-Morgan said the ballot has to be finalized by Sept. 11 because the office must begin sending out ballots to military overseas on Sept. 18.

A number of candidates could get in the race if it makes the Nov. 2 ballot.

Among those mentioned are state Senator Andy Berke, County Commissioner Jim Coppinger, former mayoral candidate Rob Healy, City Council members Andrae McGary and Peter Murphy, former mayoral candidate Ann Coulter and recall leader Jim Folkner.

Bobby Petty, one of the recall leaders, said the group plans to continue working to gather more names prior to the deadline on Monday at 4 p.m.

"We will work Saturday, Sunday and Monday to gather another 4,000 names," he said.

Mr. Petty said, "We didn't do this for ourselves. We did it for the taxpaying citizens and the elderly. We did it to try to get transparency and honest government."

The recall was started following a city property tax increase and stormwater fee rise.

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