Although they failed to meet the deadline for signatures in their effort to recall Mayor Andrew J. Medellin, backers of the recall say they will file again and continue to push for the recall.
The recall committee had 120 days to collect 3,600 signatures. Only one petition of signatures, circulated by one resident, was dropped off at the election office by the Aug. 10 deadline.
Recall petition organizer Vickie Sloan said the effort to remove Medellin as Mayor was not over.
“My sister passed away and I was called out of town,” Sloan said. “There were other petitions out with other residents. Due to a miscommunication the signatures in my possession were not picked up and taken into the elections office in time. The status of the recall is, we did not qualify for the November ballot. I still believe he should be recalled — because of all the reasons previously stated and especially now with the new (deficit budget) information that continues to surface. It might even be worse than we thought. With the help of other people that have come forward, the recall will be filed again and will continue,” Sloan said. “We certainly haven’t given up ... things definitely still need to change in the city. Nothing has really changed.”
Mayor Andrew Medellin released a statement in April saying the recall effort “was nothing more than a destructive attempt by a handful of people who are trying to bully their way through City Hall.”
Sloan declined to say how many signatures had been gathered, saying she was checking with the elections office to confirm they could still be used in a later recall filing.
However, Stephanie Sibley of the Madera County Elections Office said all the signatures were rejected because not enough were submitted to qualify for the November ballot.
Sloan remained optimistic, though.
“The many people that I spoke to who were not afraid to speak their minds, were enthusiastic about it,” she said. “There were many others that wanted to sign it but were afraid of repercussions or retaliation.”