Recalling Smith - Some facts
Indeed Smith has had some pretty high profile run-ins up in CD 12. Whether they warrant his removal from office is a decision for the voters to decide however, here at the Sister City I thought it appropriate to discuss the process that would need to occur.
First and foremost is the clock. It is running out. California Government Code Section 11007 states that a recall petition may not be commenced if the term of the target of the recall expires within 6 months. In Short, a petition to recall Smith would need to be filed by early fall.
The notice to recall would need to be served on Councilman Smith and he has 7 days to reply. Then the fun begins.
The mountain to climb is getting valid signatures. The law states that 10% of all registered voters sign the petition. In CD12 that is roughly 20,000 people. These are verified signatures, so more would need to be gathered to cushion any rejected signatures. This is the point when most recall petitions go down in flames.
It simply isn't easy to get that many signatures. Candidates running for county committee have found it difficult to get 40 signatures, getting 25-30,000 will take an army. The deadline for filing the signatures is 160 days.
So, pulling out the calendar, here is the timeline:
- A petition to recall Councilman Smith (or any other even numbered Council District for that matter) must be filed no later than September 5, 2oo6 or it would presumably be dismissed.
- Assuming the signatures were gathered in 160 days as required that would put the filing deadline for turning in the signatures somewhere around the 15 or so of February, 2007. The election officials would then have 30 days to count signatures, or until March 15, 2007.
- The Los Angeles Municipal Election is March 6, 2007.
So you can already see what the problem would be here.
Presumably the recall election would take place after the General election, and you would still need to find a candidate to run. With a special election in April or May of 2007. It would seem to this old dead Councilman to be easier to simply run an opponent in the 2007 election. But then again, the folks up there in the North Valley have done stranger.
Now this could change of course. If the process began tomorrow with paid signature gatherers hitting the streets next weekend we could see a special election late fall or early winter. But my money is on this one going the way of the Dodo Bird.