CYPRESS — In an unusual show of voter dissatisfaction, public officials could face recall in as many as three separate elections this fall.
Cypress City Manager Darrell Essex said Friday that the county registrar of voters office has certified recall petitions against Mayor Cecilia L. Age and Councilwoman Gail H. Kerry, verifying enough voter signatures to trigger an election.
"The petitions have been verified," Essex said. "This will now be submitted to the City Council at its next meeting," June 26. The council, he said, will then set a date for the election.
A second recall vote could follow if a petition now being circulated against Councilman Walter K. Bowman collects enough signatures, and yet another could result from a drive to recall Assembly Speaker Doris Allen (R-Cypress).
In an interview Friday, Essex said that each election would cost the city about $70,000. "We've put the cost into next year's budget," he said.
Age, Kerry and Bowman drew voters' ire when they supported construction of a carpet warehouse in the Valley View Street area, despite strong objections from the area's residents.
The recall action against Allen, being spearheaded by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), was launched because of some Republicans' displeasure with how Allen was elected Speaker. She won the post June 5 with only one Republican vote--her own--and the backing of Assembly Democrats.
Essex said that if the Bowman petition is completed and submitted to the city by mid-July, it could be combined with the actions against Age and Kerry into one election.
The move to recall Allen, however, is still in its early stages and could not be completed in time to be consolidated with the City Council election.
A recall aimed at Allen would extend throughout her Assembly district and thus would include several other cities.
The registrar's office verified 4,938 of the 6,334 voter signatures on the petition against Age, and 4,958 of the 6,310 signatures against Kerry, Essex said. The minimum number of verified signatures needed was 4,638 for both petitions.
State law mandates a recall election whenever petitions containing a sufficient number of voter signatures are submitted and verified. Essex acknowledged that the city now has no choice but to call a special election, regardless of the cost.
Age has already announced that Nov. 7 will probably be the date selected for the recall vote. At a City Council meeting Monday, she also criticized the cost of a recall vote.