A Yorba Linda city founder served recall papers Tuesday on Mayor John M. Gullixson, saying the ongoing upheaval at City Hall is the last straw in a list of grievances against the mayor.
Longtime resident David Baker handed a reluctant Gullixson the notice needed to start recall proceedings just before the start of the City Council meeting. Baker approached the dais and stuffed the papers in an inside pocket of the mayor's jacket.
"When the people of Yorba Linda elected John Gullixson to the City Council, they expected him to take a thoughtful, reasonable and respectful approach to dealing with public issues," Baker said in his notice.
"What they got was a schoolyard bully who's obsessed with controlling everything and everyone around him for personal gain," he said.
Gullixson, who made no reply, could not be reached for comment.
Under state election laws, adopted by the city, the targets of any local recall attempt must be served with a written notice either in person or by certified mail before paperwork can be filed with the city clerk to start the drafting of an official recall petition.
Baker said he intends to file notice of the recall today with the city clerk. He then needs to collect about 7,000 signatures in four months to force a recall election. Gullixson will be given the chance to write a rebuttal, which will be printed on petitions to be circulated.
Baker criticized Gullixson's overall leadership but said it was the city's recent spending on legal fees against former City Manager Arthur C. Simonian and Gullixson's vocal stance against the 27-year administrator that pushed Baker to take action against the mayor.
In earlier interviews, Gullixson said his opponents represent only a small faction of the community and are part of the Organization of Unified Concerned Homeowners, a grass-roots civic organization. Members of the group have denied being behind any effort to recall the mayor.