Aug. 2, 2011 - Recently, a small group of people trying to mount a recall campaign against District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson failed in its first efforts because the majority of gathered signatures were not valid. We know that an effort to unseat Hanson before his term is up will probably go forward. Undoubtedly it is the right of voters to recall an elected official if they don’t think he or she is doing the job the people elected him to do.
The issue comes in as to what constitutes doing the job. Alan Schumacher, who is spearheading the Hanson recall, told Hanson at the July 19 Board of Supervisors meeting “I told you that I needed to know that your constituents were being consulted before you voted on anything. I’ve talked to nobody who understood what you were voting … So I started this.”
Schumacher was referring to the dismissal of CAO Tom Stone that took place in closed session in early July. Schumacher said Hanson couldn’t vote on anything without consulting his “employers” — the voters in his district.
“You need to go to the people and find out what it is they want,” Schumacher said, “not take it upon yourself.”
During an election campaign the candidate tells the voters what he or she plans to do for the constituents. If the majority of the voters say yes, then the candidate becomes the district’s representative. It is a relationship built on trust. In the case of Hanson, he ran unopposed; therefore he did not appear on the ballot. No one in District 5 decided Hanson was doing a poor enough job to try to take his entrusted job away. If the voters now think Hanson is failing at his duties, they have the right to ask him questions, tell him how they feel and prepare a candidate to come up against him. They even have the right to recall him for malfeasance on the job.
To spend $15,000 to $20,000 for a recall election because people have the erroneous belief that Hanson needs to contact them on every vote is a waste of taxpayer money in a time when pennies need to be counted.
To make this recall effort more disturbing is the secrecy behind it. A reporter from the paper tried to attend a recall meeting but was told he was not welcome because the people would not feel free to talk. Yet, some of those same people, who now also want to recall District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle and District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman for firing Stone, have requested opinion page space, suggested story ideas and have had letters to the editor printed saying the paper is here to serve their cause.
The newspaper reports the news of the county from all angles and the fact that we are not allowed at recall meetings makes us wary as to what those who are “uprising” against “the good ole boy network” really have in mind.
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