From Aaron Starr:
It’s official! On Friday, December 29 we received word from the Ventura County Registrar of Voters that our four recall petitions to remove Oxnard Mayor Flynn and Councilmembers Ramirez, Madrigal and Perello from office all qualified for the ballot.
This makes Oxnard the largest city to see a city council majority subjected to a ballot-qualified recall election – which will be held on a Tuesday sometime between April 24 and May 22.
(Historical note: Your accomplishment eclipses the successful June 2012 recall of three members of the Fullerton City Council – a city with about 2/3 the population of Oxnard. Interestingly, one of the issues driving the 2012 recall was an increase in water rates. All three councilmembers were removed from office by a vote of 2:1. One of the removed officeholders tried to get back on the council later that year in November, but lost badly.)
On November 15 we submitted 68,379 signatures and waited for official word that at least 48,172 were valid. Oxnard could have opted to have Ventura County examine a 5% sample of the signatures (or roughly 3,419). If the county were to determine from samples alone that we collected at least 110% of the number needed – we well exceeded that threshold on each petition – further work would have ended and we would have learned by Thanksgiving that our petitions had qualified.
Instead, Oxnard instructed the county to examine EVERY signature, slowing down the process – and at $0.50 per signature examined, would cost taxpayers at least an extra $30,000.
We do find it ironic that some councilmembers assailed petitioners, calling the recall election a waste of money, and yet here we find the City willing to spend $30,000 to delay the inevitable by several weeks. In councilmember-speak, it is only wasteful when money is spent making them accountable.
So, here are the results of this hampered process: 81% of the signatures are valid – a significant improvement over the 74% validity rate we had when we qualified Measure M for the ballot in 2016.
In fact, we had so many extra signatures that the county stopped at 65,352. The county saved the city some money by not examining the last 3,000 signatures.
Here’s another interesting tidbit.
Our opposition dedicated time and money attempting to persuade people who already signed our petitions to mail in withdrawal cards requesting that their signatures be removed.
And did they convince many? Hardly! According to Ventura County, only 27 people submitted written requests to have their signatures withdrawn. However, even that low figure is overstated. It appears that NONE of those individuals actually signed the recall petitions, meaning no signatures were withdrawn from the count.
Thanks again to everyone who signed our petitions and helped with qualifying the recall petitions for the ballot. Because of you, the new year is bringing a brighter future to Oxnard.
Working together, we can …
Recall … Replace … Reform!
Paid for by Oxnard Recall! Starr Coalition for Moving Oxnard Forward by Supporting the Recall of Mayor Flynn and Councilmembers Ramirez, Perello and Madrigal. Major Funding by Aaron Starr. 2130 Posada Drive, Oxnard, CA 93030