by Max Brantley
Neighborliness is lacking in City Director Erma Hendrix's ward. A group of citizens is circulating a recall petition. A news release was distributed by the Downtown Neighborhood Association on behalf of that group, We Care Citizens for Progress:
As caring citizens of Ward 1, the We Care Citizens for Progress decided to form a group to petition against the under and misrepresentation of the sitting Director of Ward 1, Erma Fingers Hendrix. On numerous occasions, Ms. Hendrix has exhibited profound insensitivity when addressing issues of importance to the citizens of Ward 1. She has promoted division and conflict within the community; been very disruptive during community meetings; and simply put, has not worked for the good of the citizens of Ward 1. She has openly and directly displayed inappropriate behavior and abuse of her power as City Director to individuals as well as community groups.
More on the jump.
UPDATE: Including the statutory langauge on recall for city officials.
Some examples of Ms. Hendrix’s inappropriate behavior and abuse of power are:
· Asking a citizen how that citizen obtained her telephone number when the citizen called for her assistance;
· Making false promises and misleading statements to citizens of Ward 1;
· Telling citizens who asked for her help, “You all are on your own down here”
· Walked out of a meetings without explaining her exit;
· Changing the traffic light to a Stop Sign on Battery without citizens’ input or knowledge beforehand;
· Making threats to “Finish what I started” (referring to her failed efforts to destroy a project prior to becoming Director of Ward 1);
· Habitually asks citizens (who speak strongly about certain issues) for their name and address-condescendingly);
· Deliberately misleading the City with false statements pertaining to certain projects and organizations with Ward 1;
· Disrespecting citizens, City Board counterparts and subordinates;
· Using her position to promote her biases;
· Using her authority to destroy and corrupt positive unified community efforts;
· She has interrupted (rudely and offensively) and taken over meetings that she attends;
The conflict that she has caused within the community has resulted in a loss of trust.
STATUTE ON RECALL
14-48-114. Removal of mayor or directors.
(a) Any person holding the office of mayor and any person holding the office of member of the board of directors of any city organized under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to removal from the office by the electors qualified to vote for a successor of the incumbent.
(b) The procedure to effect the removal of a person holding the office shall be as follows:
(1) When petitions requesting the removal of any such officer, signed by qualified electors equal in number to thirty-five percent (35%) of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for that office at the preceding general municipal election at which the office was on the ballot, are filed with the city clerk, the clerk shall determine the sufficiency of the petitions within ten (10) days from the date of the filing.
(2) If the petitions are deemed sufficient, the clerk shall certify them to the county board of election commissioners.
(3)(A)(i) The county board of election commissioners shall call a special election on the question and shall fix a date for holding it not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from the date of the certification of the petitions by the clerk.
(ii) The special election shall occur on the second Tuesday of any month, except as provided in subdivision (b)(3)(B)-(E) of this section.
(B) Special elections held in months in which a presidential preferential primary election, preferential primary election, general primary election, or general election is scheduled to occur shall be held on the date of the presidential preferential primary election, preferential primary election, general primary election, or general election.
(C)(i) If a special election is held on the date of the presidential preferential primary election, preferential primary election, or general primary election, the issue or issues to be voted upon at the special election shall be included on the ballot of each political party.
(ii) However, separate ballots containing only the issue or issues to be voted upon at the special election shall be prepared and made available to voters requesting a separate ballot.
(D) No voter shall be required to vote in a political party's presidential preferential primary, preferential primary, or general primary in order to be able to vote in the special election.
(E) Special elections scheduled to occur in a month in which the second Tuesday is a legal holiday shall be held on the third Tuesday of the month.
(4) At the election, the question shall be submitted to the electors in substantially the following form:
"FOR the removal of .....................................from the office of
(name of officer)
AGAINST the removal of ............................................from the
(name of officer)
office of ..........................................................."
(5)(A) If a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question at the election shall vote for the removal of the officer, a vacancy shall exist in the office.
(B) If a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question at the election shall vote against the removal of the officer, the officer shall continue to serve during the term for which elected.
(c) No recall petition shall be filed against any officer until he shall have held his office for at least six (6) months.