The petitions filed by Ms. Frankie “Judy” Howell as the chairmen of Citizens For the Improvement of Winslow cites the reasons for recall as follows:
“Does not represent the wishes/best interests of the citizens of Winslow, as evident by his voting record on Curbside Trash Collection (Toters), water/sewer rate increases, summer water rate increases, and routine real estate transactions using the emergency clause.”
The group circling the petition has 120 days to collect 270 valid signatures to recall a council member and 298 to recall the mayor.
If the numbers are met before the deadline, then the City Clerk has ten days to verify each signature is a registered voter and the information they provided, like their registered address, is correct.
The County Recorder then has 60 days to recheck the names found to be valid by the City Clerk.
If after the verification the valid numbers are still above the required amount, that person will receive a letter stating he, or she, has been recalled. That person then has to decide if they would like to resign or run again in the upcoming election.
If a recall election is necessary and is included in the November election it could cost the city an additional $10,000 in operational costs. If a recall election is included in the March primaries, it could tack on an extra $2,000 to $5,000 to the usual cost of the election.
When the election is held, people wishing to run for a position on the city council will turn in nomination petitions to be included on the ballot along with the names of the recalled persons who choose to stay in the race.
Mayor Jim Boles and three of the city council members, Dee Rodriguez, Robert Beamish, and Harold Soehner, are up for re-election in March.
Mayor Jim Boles made the following statement on behalf of himself and the entire City Council:
“I have been contacted by several individuals as well as news organizations to get my personal reaction to the recall attempt, which has been announced by Ms. Judy Howell, Sid Moore, Sr., and Citizens For the Improvement of Winslow. My initial response is that this is a constitutional right in Arizona. I accept their right to this course of action, whatever their motive.
I must admit I have never heard of a recall to remove the Mayor, Council and the City staff. This means that any candidates to replace those being recalled must be committed to firing city staff, as that is how they would have to be removed. Even though this is an available political tool, I question its overall value and am concerned with its potential harm to our city regardless of its success or failure. First and foremost, staff morale has to be affected at least until it is made clear just who and how many are to be fired. Overall, our city has an excellent staff. They are dedicated and work as a team with your Mayor and Council to make our community a better place to live. It is not fair to put staff in such limbo.
My second concern is the effect that such an effort as a complete recall of Mayor, Council and staff will have on our effort to promote our city. Industry and government entities are not interested in being embroiled in a community dogfight. In fact, they seek a stable environment where a long-term relationship is a viable project. Present ongoing negotiations for new employment opportunities in Winslow could well be voided by this recall attempt. Last week, three directors of major state programs visited Winslow, providing your Mayor, Council members and staff an opportunity to discuss future prospects for our community. The directors were Department of Corrections, Department of Environmental Quality and Criminal Justice Commission. These visits were not coincidental nor would they have happened in the middle of a family feud.
Changes do occur, over time, in the makeup of both councils and staff due to me natural process of routine elections and staff attrition. This is normal and expected. This gradual change may have no adverse effects on current and outgoing negotiations, but you can rest assured that any radical attempt at change does more than stop the clock; it may dismantle it and scatter the parts.
“Winslow has a committed Council and staff and we shall continue our best efforts on your behalf, but even a small pebble or minor pain in the right place can become a great hindrance if left unattended. I ask each citizen to consider carefully the so-called charges on the recall petition. Remember, a half-truth is usually less than that. Please consider these things carefully. Ask questions and get answers, not opinions. Review facts not fables. I am not ashamed to ask you to pray for guidance and wisdom and then act in whatever way you believe best for our community.
Best wishes and God bless.