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COVINA : Utility Tax Sparks Latest Recall Drive

November 17, 1994|DEBORAH SULLIVAN

Two members of the Covina City Council, who rode into office on the wave of a recall drive against a previous council, received their own recall notices Tuesday night.

Mayor Thomas M. O'Leary, who helped lead a recall drive against the entire City Council last year for passing a 6% utility tax, and Thomas Falls, who pledged to avoid new taxes, were served with the notices Tuesday night, after the current council passed an 8.25% utility tax in September. Under state law, those seeking to recall elected officials must first notify their targets that a recall petition is being circulated.

Councilwoman Linda Sarver, also a target of the newest recall campaign, was absent from the meeting.

Hank Vagt, a leader in both recall campaigns, said the current council had promised not to enact a utility tax but, if one were thought to be needed, would put the tax to a public vote. "We would stop the recall tomorrow if the council agreed to put it on the ballot and abide by that decision," he said.

O'Leary said there was no chance the council would authorize a special election. Legally, he said, the council cannot delegate authority to approve taxes to such a vote.

Council members have said the tax is needed to avoid severe cuts in city services, such as closing the library, the Parks and Recreation Department and a fire station.

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