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Councilmen respond to recall notices

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The three City Councilmen served with notices of intent to recall them on March 8 submitted their responses on March 16. Mayor Paul Joiner and City Councilmen Tom Cosgrove and Spencer Short had seven days from March 9 to file their responses to the notice of intent with City Clerk Pat Avila, according to the section of the California election code (11000-11386) pertaining to recall elections. Lincoln resident Bob Birdseye filed the notices with the city on March 9. Birdseye was served with copies of Joiner’s, Cosgrove’s and Short’s responses on March 16, and has until Monday to submit two blank, unsigned copies of his draft petition to Avila, according to the election code. Avila then has 10 days to review the unsigned petitions and request that Birdseye make corrections. Birdseye then has 10 days to correct and resubmit the unsigned petitions to the city clerk, according to the election code. “The 10-day correction notification period and the 10-day filing period for corrected petitions shall be repeated until the elections official...finds no alterations are required,” the election code states. Once the unsigned petitions are approved, Birdseye has 120 days to gather signatures from 20 percent of Lincoln’s 23,876 registered voters, which comes to 4,775 signatures, according to previous News Messenger reports. After the signatures are turned in and the signatures are found to be sufficient, the city clerk would submit a certificate of sufficiency to the City Council, according to the code. Within 14 days from the receipt of that certificate, the City Council must announce that a recall election will be held. The code states that the election should be held no less than 88 days and no more than 125 days after the election is announced. The city covers the cost of the recall election, according to Avila, which would come out of the city’s internal services fund. Ryan Ronco, the Placer County Office of Elections’ assistant registrar, told The News Messenger recently that a special election could cost anywhere from $2 to $3 per registered voter up to $8 or $9 per registered voter. That means the cost could range from $47,752 to as much as $214,884. The cost varies for a variety of factors, according to Ronco. Those factors include if the city can consolidate the election with another jurisdiction and the price of contracts with vendors for services such as printing and delivering the ballots.