Monday, March 14, 2016

Mayor Recall Provisions

(2) RECALL PETITION.
(a) Petition content.A petition shall contain the name of the person sought to be recalled and a statement of grounds for recall. The statement of grounds may not exceed 200 words, and the stated grounds are limited solely to those specified in paragraph (d).

200 words to sum up his administration? 

6. In a municipality or district of 25,000 or more registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 1,000 electors or by 5 percent of the total number of registered electors of the municipality or district as of the preceding municipal election, whichever is greater.

In Pensacola, roughly 1,750 people.

All signatures shall be obtained, as provided in paragraph (e), within a period of 30 days, and all signed and dated petition forms shall be filed at the same time, no later than 30 days after the date on which the first signature is obtained on the petition.

There is a strategy to this provision based on my discussions with knowledgeable folks.

d) Grounds for recall.The grounds for removal of elected municipal officials shall, for the purposes of this act, be limited to the following and must be contained in the petition:
1. Malfeasance;
2. Misfeasance;
3. Neglect of duty;
4. Drunkenness;
5. Incompetence;
6. Permanent inability to perform official duties; and

7. Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

Take your pick!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....30 people X 60 signatures each = 1800! That would mean 30 people obtaining just two signatures per day for 30 days. Definitely sounds doable to me. I'm in!!!

Anonymous said...

Hayward is guilty of all folks. What are we waiting for Pensacola?

1. Malfeasance;
2. Misfeasance;
3. Neglect of duty;
4. Drunkenness;
5. Incompetence;
6. Permanent inability to perform official duties; and
7. Conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

Inaction = Endorsement

The only thing missing is a picture of Ashton's stupid smiling face.

CJ Lewis said...

It is a bit more complicated. The state law recall process has multiple parts. Described here is the first big part. The elected official subject to recall may next file "a defensive statement of no more than 200 words." Then comes the big part. The Recall Committee has to get 15% signatures within 60 days. Realistically, the process would have to be very well organized and well funded. Each recall petition signature must be witnessed, an odd twist given that the Supervisor of Elections has to certify each signature.

The best way to pull this off would be to send to every city voter a recall petition already filled in their all of the required information and that they could sign in the presence of a witness and return in a pre-paid postage envelope. The second set of signatures could be done in the same manner. How much money would need to be raised to get this done? I do not know but the steps are all known and someone should be able to come up with a plan that would work if funded.

You cannot just recall an elected official because you do not like what they have done. Using the state law process, the statement of grounds has to describe in sufficient specificity a violation of one of the seven statutory grounds. The Attorney General has issues multiple advisory opinions about the process. An especially interesting one is AGO 82-82 Recall of Mayor.

Probably because Charter Review Commission Crystal Spencer anticipated that her husband Brian Spencer was going to be elected Mayor in 2010, the Charter somewhat is unique in containing no procedure for removing the Mayor from office or for removing Council members except for somewhat murky grounds. Even the Charter for the City of Gulf Breeze provides such a provision. Council members are likely happy that no such provision exists because they violate the Charter too though not as much or as dramatically as the Mayor. Such a provision need not be in the Charter and could be adopted by ordinance. At a minimum, such a provision should provide for the removal from office of any municipal official for the grounds stated in the recall law.

Interestingly, and the Charter Review Commission was handicapped by having no one involved in the process familiar with state law, to include City Attorney Rusty Wells and its legal counsel Margaret Stopp, while the process to recall a Council member is largely though not entirely set in stone, the procedure can be whatever we want it to be for others to include the Mayor and City Administrator. For example, the recall provision for the Mayor and City Administrator (and City Attorney and City Clerk too) can be as simple as 1,000 signatures collected over six months with no need to collect a second set of signatures. Further, just as the Charter may describe additional grounds to recall a Council member, in addition to the mandatory seven grounds, the same could apply to the Mayor and others.

George Hawthorne said...

Handle it like a campaign. Look at key precinct location to come and sign and key individuals rallying the precinct electorate. Also, you drive a strong media presence and spokespersons that go to the various news outlets. Maren is the natural leader for this effort as she has credibility and ability to lead the media outreach.

Anonymous said...


A recall petition of the mayor should not stand alone. Residents of Pensacola should have the ability to sign petitions to remove each and every one of the individuals sitting on our City Council at the same time that we sign a petition to remove the mayor. If you don't want to remove an individual, don't sign that particular petition. But we are not going to solve this problem by cutting off the (middle) finger when the entire hand is gangrenous!

The mayor is allowed to practice Malfeasance, Misfeasance, Neglect, and Incompetence only because of our Lazy, Incompetent and Corrupt city council. I am fed up with the whole bunch...!

Liz Watkins said...

Who in the city has the guts to start recall? Shocked it hasn't been started yet.

Anonymous said...

The charter should be rescinded & return to a council/City Manager form of government. Otherwise, we're just as likely to see another unethical, incompetent pretty boy elected.

Anonymous said...

Maren, please say you're going to do it. I will help in any way possible. I have plenty of time on my hands to collect signatures.

Anonymous said...

Let's start a recall! But first, we must force the City management to get rid of the dead, lazy and fat weight!

Anonymous said...


Yes, let's do a recall. But it is not easy and it is going to be expensive.

1. An attorney must be hired just to draft the recall petition, making sure that all the "t's" are crossed. The first thing that the Mayor will do will be to challenge the wording of the petition in court. He will hire the best lawyer he can find (or just one of his buddies) and use OUR money to fight us. It doesn't matter who wins that battle. It will be a war of attrition as he tries to out-spend us. Remember, he is using OUR money and that is a bottomless bucket.

2. You don't need 1,800 signatures, you need 7,000 signatures. Many of the signatures will be thrown out for various reasons (a lot of non-residents will sign them). And don't forget that you need a witness for each one. Getting that many signatures in 30 days is a lot harder than it sounds.

Go for it...!!!