Effort to remove Corona’s mayor, two council members moves forward

Effort to remove Corona’s mayor, two council members moves forward

A group seeking to oust three Corona City Council members has won approval to begin collecting signatures for the effort.

Recall organizers are seeking to remove Corona Mayor Dick Haley and council members Karen Spiegel and Eugene Montanez from office, accusing them of financial mismanagement, seeking to raise taxes and poor land-use decisions.

The council members say the allegations are vague and misleading and that a recall election would be costly.

The City Clerk’s office determined Monday, Sept. 11, that the petitions met the legal requirements to be circulated, City Clerk Lisa Mobley said.

Under state law, recall organizers have 160 days from that date to collect about 10,500 signatures, representing 15 percent of the registered voters in Corona.

Joe Morgan, a Corona resident leading the effort, said in an email Wednesday, Sept. 13, that the group will begin gathering signatures this weekend. Recall supporters believe the council members have not been responsive to residents’ concerns, he said.

Morgan has cited the city’s plans for a railroad grade separation at McKinley Street as one issue that led residents to pursue the recall.

At a June study session, the council agreed to study three options for the project: build a railroad bridge over McKinley, raise McKinley over the railroad or leave it as it is. Morgan said the city should eliminate raising the road as an option, saying several businesses would lose their property as a result.

The council members say they’ve made no decision on the McKinley crossing and are doing a full study so that they can make an informed decision.

Haley, Montanez and Spiegel say the city has seen business and job growth, increased housing values and a more efficient City Hall during their tenure.

Montanez said in an email that a recall election would be a waste of money as his and Spiegel’s terms end at the end of 2018 — only months after a possible recall election.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Signature deadline: The recall campaign has 160 days from Monday, Sept. 11, to gather about 10,500 signatures, representing 15 percent of the city’s registered voters.

Verification: Once signatures are gathered, elections officials must verify whether there are a sufficient number of valid signatures.

Setting election: If enough valid signatures are collected, elections officials must certify the results and pass them on to the city council within 14 days. The council would then have 88 to 125 days to call an election.

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2018-06-27T21:41:03+00:00

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