Businessman vows to move recall forward

In all of Tuesday’s earthquake coverage, it seems this article that reporter Bethania Palma helped me complete (I was off on Monday and Tuesday) got lost online:

Baldwin Park rejects recall effort
Council member foes say drive to oust 3 will continue
By Tania Chatila and Bethania Palma, Staff Writers
Article Launched: 07/28/2008 11:12:42 PM PDT

BALDWIN PARK – Leaders of a recall effort against three City Council members vowed Monday to press on despite the city’s rejection of recall papers.
Local businessman and Pomona resident Greg Tuttle served recall notices on Council members Anthony Bejarano, Marlen Garcia and Monica Garcia at the June 18 council meeting. He filed official recall paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office the following Monday.

Deputy City Clerk Laura Nieto said legal documents submitted to City Hall were rejected last week due to election code violations, including missing forms at the time of filing.

Tuttle said he plans to move forward and expects the recall to be on a citywide ballot next year.

“We’re going to go back and do it right,” he said. “We’re laughing at it. It’s a delay tactic.”

The recall papers Tuttle submitted contained a laundry list of grievances against individual council members.

City Council members targeted in the effort dismissed the accusations as unfounded.

Along with Tuttle, who owns Tuttle’s Parts Exchange, several of the recall’s proponents included members of the Community Alliance for Redevelopment Accountability. The group is against the city’s proposed redevelopment of downtown.

But Tuttle said the recall was separate from CARA’s efforts, and was initiated to address mismanagement of the Police Department as well as concerns over redevelopment.

Officials targeted by the recall effort argued the proposed redevelopment will be good for the city.
“There are a lot of benefits to these types of projects, but unfortunately you’ve got those agitators,” said Councilwoman Marlen Garcia. “Tuttle doesn’t live in my community and frankly he doesn’t matter to me.”

Councilman Anthony Bejarano questioned the recall group’s motives.

“They don’t want to be impacted, so they’re going to fight tooth and nail to get what they want, irrespective of how that impacts the community,” he said. “All that’s important to (Tuttle) are the impacts on his business.”

Councilwoman Monica Garcia did not return phone calls.

Experts attest to the difficulty of successfully initiating a recall election – which could easily run in the tens of thousands of dollars, and maybe even upwards of $100,000, according to Douglas Johnson, a fellow with the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Tuttle said recalling three council members could cost anywhere from $125,000 to $150,000 – funds that will be generated by a group he heads known as the Political Action Committee for Good Government.

Johnson estimated less than a quarter of recall movements actually end up on the ballot.

Tuttle said he plans to try again this week.

“We’re refiling and if that doesn’t work we’ll have to take the legal action and go to court,” Tuttle said. “It’s only begun.”

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109

Tuttle seemed adamant that this was nothing more than a ploy by the city to make the recall go away. I don’t think Tuttle is budging quite yet….Of course, it would help to get all the paperwork right.