Sunday, January 22, 2012

Second Mayor Recall Petition Started in Benton County, AR

BAUXITE, AR --- The citizens of Bauxite, Arkansas have begun gathering signatures to recall their mayor. This is the second city in Benton County, Arkansas to make such an attempt. The other city is Bryant where Jill Dabbs is the mayor. 

The Arkansas Legislature passed a new law in 2009 which permits the recall of certain municipal officials:

14-42-119.  Removal of certain elected municipal officials. [Effective October 2, 2011.]

  (a) A person who holds an elected office in a municipality for a term of four (4) years in a mayor-council form of government is subject to removal from the office by the electors qualified to vote for a successor of the incumbent.

(b) The procedure for the removal of a person holding the office is as follows:

   (1)  (A) When a petition requesting the removal of an officer under this section, signed by a number of qualified electors equal to twenty-five percent (25%), is filed with the county clerk, the county clerk shall determine the sufficiency of the petition within ten (10) days from the date of the filing.

      (B) A petition shall be filed by 12:00 noon not more than one hundred five (105) days nor less than ninety-one (91) days before the next general election following the election at which the officer was elected;

   (2) If the petition is deemed sufficient, the county clerk shall certify it to the county board of election commissioners;

   (3) At the election, the question shall be submitted to the qualified electors in substantially the following form:

    "FOR the removal of (name of officer) ................ from the office of (name of office) .................[]

   AGAINST the removal of (name of officer) ................ from the office of (name of office) .................[]"; and

   (4)  (A)  (i) If a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question at the election vote for the removal of the officer, a vacancy shall exist in the office.

         (ii) The officer shall vacate the office immediately upon certification of the election.

      (B) If a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question at the election vote against the removal of the officer, the officer shall continue to serve during the term for which he or she was elected.

HISTORY: Acts 2009, No. 362, § 1; 2011, No. 1028, § 1; 2011, No. 1185, § 17. 

Prior to the passage of this law, recalls were unheard of in Arkansas. The primary reason is that most elected officials in the state serve short terms of about two years and it would not be cost effective to have a special recall election in the midst of at two-year term.

With those persons who have four (4) year terms, however, they can only be recalled or removed as the law states, at a regular general election. This way, the election does not cost the citizens any new money. The general election occurs every two years and is the cost of doing business.

In Bauxite, there's a apparently a fight going on between the mayor and city council and the city council has not been able to override the mayor's vetos. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 88 signatures are needed to get the question on ballot in Bauxite.

No comments:

Post a Comment