Anti-Wal-Mart group fails in council recall bid

September 19, 2008 2:36:54 PM PDT
An effort by the anti-Wal-Mart group Save Our Suisun to recall three Suisun City Council members has failed because of an insufficient number of valid signatures on petitions, the Solano County Registrar of Voters Office said.

The group needed 2,013 valid signatures on each of the three petitions to put the recall measure on the ballot. The group wanted to recall Mayor Pete Sanchez, Councilwoman Jane Day and Councilman Mike Hudson. Their terms expire in December 2010.

The petition to recall Sanchez had 1,907 valid signatures; the petition to recall Day had 1,852 valid signatures and the one to recall Hudson had 1,894 valid signatures, county election officials said.

Save Our Suisun has 21 days after the results are certified Oct. 7 to begin the review of all challenged signatures. There is no deadline to complete the examination.

A representative of Save Our Suisun was not immediately available for comment.

The group claims the council ignored safety experts and risked the safety of city residents when it unanimously approved the controversial 227,000-square-foot proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter project on 21 acres at state Highway 12 and Walters Road near Travis Air Force Base in February.

Sanchez said he was initially surprised when he learned the group did not have enough valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

"They spent a lot of time and energy and it took them four months to gather the signatures. They claim to be pretty well organized," he said.

Save Our Suisun stated it had several hundred more signatures than were needed to put the recall to a vote, Sanchez said.

"I've been elected three times. My record speaks for itself.

"I'm very pleased the city does not have to spend that $100,000-$150,000 for the election," Sanchez said.

The county registrar of voters office estimated it would cost that much for a vote on the recall. The special election would have been held in January or February, Assistant Registrar of Voters Lindsey McWilliams said.

McWilliams said proponents of the recall will examine the signatures in the Suisun City Clerk's Office, which will receive the petitions. Proponents must put in writing any questions they have after examining the petitions.

"We will respond to their questions. If they don't accept our findings, they may challenge our certificate of insufficiency in Superior Court," McWilliams said.


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