Group Qualifies Recall Vote Vs.Three San Bernardino Officials

The effort which originally targeted nine of San Bernardino’s elected officials for removal from office  has succeeded in qualifying recall questions against three of those on the November 5 ballot.
San Bernardino Residents For Responsible Government in April declared that they were gunning for the political heads of mayor Patrick Morris, city attorney Jim Penman and council members Wendy McCammack, Fred Shorrett, Rikki Van Johnson, John Valdivia, Virginia Marquez, Robert Jenkins, and Chas Kelley. The group said it was motivated by the city’s filing for bankruptcy protection last summer.
Eventually, the group called an end to its effort against Morris, who is not seeking reelection in November and will leave office next March. It also discontinued the campaigns against Jenkins, Marquez and Shorrett, who must seek reelection in November to remain in office past March. It dropped the campaign against Van Johnson as well. It did proceed with the call to let voters decide on removing Kelley, Valdivia, McCammack and Penman.
While city clerk Gigi Hanna originally ruled that the group had failed to meet technical requirements to have the recall petitions against McCammack, Kelley and Penman considered, on August 22 Judge David Cohn ruled that Hanna had to accept the recall petitions and the signatures endorsing them and forward them to the registrar of voters to be tallied to see if the required number of voters had signed onto the effort to force the recall election to take place. Once the recall petitions and signatures relating to Penman, McCammack, Kelley and Valdivia were tallied by the registrar of voters, it was determined that sufficient signatures – 15 percent of the city’s registered voters citywide – had been gathered to place Penman on the ballot as a recall candidate and sufficient signatures –  25 percent of the voters in their respective wards – to place McCammack and Valdivia on the ballot as recall candidates.  Signature gatherers, however, fell short in the effort to qualify a recall question against Kelley.
Scott Beard, the founder of San Bernardino Residents For Responsible Government, said that he and those who had undertaken the recall campaign were “very pleased that San Bernardino voters will have the opportunity to replace a full seven of the elected officials who are largely responsible for the dismal shape the city is in today.”
Of note, McCammack, Kelley and Van Johnson are among nine candidates to replace Morris as mayor.  McCammack’s mayoral campaign continues, despite the vote to remove her from the council.

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