The threat of a recall for Winslow’s Mayor and City Council is one step closer this week since the circulating petitions have been turned in on time and the names are being counted.
Citizens For the Improvement of Winslow (CFIW) acquired the petitions from Winslow City Clerk Linda Samson during June and were due back to the city October 16. Samson received the petitions on October 15.
Two hundred ninety-eight signatures were need to recall Mayor Jim Boles. CFIW gathered 602 signatures, unofficially, against Boles.
For each council member to be recalled, 270 signatures were needed. Every council member received more than that number with Robert Beamish receiving 560, Harold Soehner receiving 510, Tom McCauley receiving 485, Bob Mansell receiving 515, Robin Boyd receiving 517 and Dee Rodriguez receiving 544. All of these numbers are unofficial and must be checked by Samson and the Navajo County Recorder Laurette Justman.
Samson has until October 25 to verify that signatures and address are present for each one counted by the circulators. She also checks that each signature was dated, that no more than 15 signatures were on each petition page and withdrawn signatures were accompanied by a signed statement.
After completing her check, Samson then turns the forms over to Justman who checks that each person who signed the petitions are valid voters. This is known as the canvassing stage and once it is completed, a decision about a special election will be made if the required numbers are validated.
In a survey of ten randomly selected Winslow citizens recently conducted by the Winslow Mail, it was found that five residents were supportive of the mayor and council, three supported the recall effort and two had not decided about the subject.
Of the three that supported the recall effort, two of the residents said they did not like the garbage toters, the item that is cited by many as the main reason for the recall. One of those citizens stated that she would like see the special recall election wait until the regular election in March and save the tax payers money.
The one resident who was supported the recall that liked the garbage toters stated a need of a new plan for Winslow’s progress as her reason for wanting a new council.
Those who support the Mayor and City Council felt the group was doing a good job. One woman felt that it would be hard to find someone to replace them.
Judy Howell, Spokesperson for Citizens For the Improvement of Winslow issued this statement about their recall efforts:
“CFIW would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the citizens who circulated or signed the recall petitions. We exceeded our goal.
“For the record: The recall was initiated for the following reasons, as stated on the petitions: The mayor and council do not represent the wishes or best interests of the citizens of Winslow, as evident by their voting record on curbside trash collection (toters) water/sewer rate increases, summer rate increases, and routine real estate transactions using the emergency clause.
“The recall was based on issues, not on personalities. The mayor and council members may all be good people; however, that doesn’t have any bearing on their record of going against the wishes of the citizens on various issues. Please try to remember that the recall is on political issues, not personal ones.
Petitions, page 5
from page 1
“CFIW, supporters, and volunteer circulators worked diligently on this recall because each believes a recall is necessary. This was not done lightly, but because each of us is deeply concerned about the direction the city is going – no growth, declining population, declining revenues, and a feeling that the mayor and council were not representing the wishes/needs of Winslow’s citizens.
“CFIW had the opportunity during the circulation of the recall petitions to visit with hundreds of the residents and really became aware of the wishes, concerns, and love for their town. It has been a pleasure to gain this insight, and CFIW will continue to advocate for citizens’ right and government accountability.
“We also encountered many supporters of the mayor and council who wholeheartedly endorse the status quo. They have a right to their opinions, too, which we respected as we circulated the petitions.”
Winslow’s Mayor Jim Boles offered this statement in response to the petitions being turned in:
“As has been reported in the local media, recall petitions have been submitted to the City Clerk against the mayor and six council members. Should the county certify that there are enough valid signatures, then a recall election must be held. I assume the next date allowed by the State would be at the same time the city holds its Primary election in March of 2002.
“The recall process is a legal right of any citizen. My only personal concern is the untruths and promises made by some of the petitions carriers which can neither legally or fiscally (money wise) be accomplished either by this council or a new one.
“I have not polled the council members as to their intentions, but it is my personal hope that all will stand for election at the recall. I know them to be dedicated to our community and it is an honor to serve with them.”