The recall petitions turned in Friday were against San Bernardino City Attorney James Penman, Ward 7 Councilmember Wendy McCammack and Ward 5 Councilmember Chas Kelly (Ward 5). The recall petition against Ward 3 Councilperson John Valdivia (Ward 3) was already turned in to the city clerk previously and forwarded to the Registrar of Voters. On Monday afternoon of August 26, Michael J. Scarpello, the Registrar of Voters, had not yet released the results of the counts on the newly received petitions.
Though the recall group originally announced a recall drive against just about every city elected official, no petitions were turned in for Mayor Patrick Morris, who announced he will not be seeking a third term. Also no petitions were turned in against three Council Members who are up for re-election in November anyway: Ward 1 Councilperson Virginia Marquez, Ward 2 Robert Jenkins, and Ward 4 Fred Shorret. Attempts to circulate petitions to recall Sixth Ward Councilperson Rikke Van Johnson (whose council seat is not up for election this November) were unsuccessful as residents in his Ward were primarily supportive of Johnson.
Johnson along with McCammack and Kelly have announced their candidacy for Mayor the upcoming November election, along with a packed field of eight other candidates.
The number of registered voters in the city and in each of the city’s wards as recorded by the California Secretary of State as of February11, 2013, are the base numbers used to determine if the threshold has been met in the number of valid voter signatures gathered in the recall petitions.
Recalls against city-wide office holders require a 15% threshold. Of the 77,254 registered voters in the city, 11,588 valid voter signatures are needed in the recall petitions launched against City Attorney Penman. Attorney Tim Prince announced this Monday that he will run against Penman on the recall ballot, and is the first candidate to declare on any of the potential recall elections.
The threshold is higher – 25% – for council seat recalls. There are 14,707 registered voters in Ward 5, so 3,677 valid voter signatures are needed on the petitions against Councilperson Kelly. There are 12, 802 registered voters in Ward 7, so 3,021 valid voter signatures are needed on the petitions against McCammack (being counted at ROV now). Voters are waiting for the ROV’s final counts to see if the petitions were ultimately successful against Penman, McCammack, and Kelly.
Voters are already aware that Councilmember Valdivia will face a recall. There are 9,419 registered voters in Ward 3, so 2,355 signatures were needed on the petitions against Valdivia. 2,702 signatures were collected, validated, and sent to the ROV by the City Clerk. There is some controversy over Valdivia’s response to the recall charges not being included on the actual recall petition that was circulated against him.
The rules for responses to petitions is that once a Notice to Petition (for recall or anything else to be placed on a ballot) with the City Clerk, the target (or opponents) of the recall have 7 days to no