Board certifies Hanson recall election
June 18, 2013 — Will Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jack Hanson serve out the remainder of his term (which ends Jan.5, 2015) or will a new candidate be elected in the recall election?
The fate of the district 5 supervisor’s seat is now in the hands of the district’s voters.
Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante said she has tentatively scheduled the recall election for Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Bustamante said approximately 2,500 voters will answer two questions — first should Hanson be recalled (yes or no), and second (if the majority of voters seek his recall), which candidate shall serve the remainder of his term. If a majority of voters seek Hanson’s recall, the candidate who collects the most votes will be elected, regardless of how many seek the office.
Nomination papers and declarations of candidacy for those wishing to succeed Hanson must be filed with the Lassen County Clerk’s Office, located at 220 S. Lassen St., Suite 5, in the Lassen County Courthouse between now and Thursday, June 27. The only requirement is the candidate be a registered voter in district 5.
The clerk’s office is open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call 251-8217.
Bustamante reviewed the recall petitions and determined May 23 the campaign had collected enough signatures, and she asked the board at its Tuesday, June 11 meeting to receive and file the Certificate of Sufficiency according to the state elections code and issue an order that the election be held. The board accepted the certificate and ordered the election be held.
Westwood resident Eileen Spencer alleged Bustamante violated the election code because she didn’t bring the matter before the board of supervisors at its May 28 meeting.
But Bustamante said the agenda for that meeting had already been posted as required by the Brown Act, California’s Open Meeting Law by the time she completed her review of the signatures on the recall petitions late in the day May 23, just before the Memorial Day holiday.
Spencer said she filed a complaint regarding the delay with the California Secretary of State’s Office — and a state official agreed with her.
The press office in the secretary of state’s office did not return the newspaper’s call seeking comment on Spencer’s complaint.
On Thursday, June 13, Bustamante said she has not heard from the Secretary of State’s Office regarding Spencer’s complaint.
Responding to a supervisor’s question, Lassen County Counsel Rhetta Vander Ploeg said sections of the law frequently interact and influence each other, and one should not read and interpret a section of the law in isolation without understanding that. In her opinion, Bustamante’s handling of the recall matter was legal and proper according to both the election code and the Brown Act.
The next term for the district 5 seat will be on the ballot during the June 3, 2014 Primary Election. The declaration of candidacy period for that seat will be from February 10, 2014 through March 7, 2014.
What’s this recall all about?
Voters in District 5 will have an opportunity to either keep Supervisor Jack Hanson or replace him with another candidate in the recall election tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10.
This information about the recall was originally published in February 2012 after proponents seeking to recall Hanson filed their paper work with the Lassen County Clerk’s Office.
Grounds for recall
According to the recall proponents, the grounds for recalling Hanson include:
1. Hanson’s vote to terminate the contract with (former) County Administrative Officer Tom Stone, which may open the county to a lawsuit.
2. Hanson’s vote allowing taxpayer money, in excess of $800,000, to be wastefully spent.
3. Hanson’s indifference to the economic growth and development of Herlong and Doyle.
4. Hanson’s unwillingness to embrace growth and economic progress for Lassen County, which has a negative impact on your constituents.
5. Hanson’s failure to support a taxpayer-funded swimming pool while supporting waste in other places.
6. Hanson’s lack of responsiveness and willingness to serve constituents, including your failure to return phone calls, attend meetings and otherwise support constituents when asked for help.
Hanson filed a response to the recall claims with the county clerk’s office and also emailed his statements to the Times. His direct response to each claim is:
1. True. Mr. Stone's termination was a matter of principle based on a lack of trust.
2. True. I supported expending funds to facilitate future growth and to conserve assets.
3. and 4. False.
5. False. I have always supported use of available federal, state and local assistance with minimal use of Lassen County dollars.
6. Absolutely false.
Hanson went on to write that the recall “is extremely destructive and will be costly to the citizens of Lassen County. The petition is not worthy of support. I will not be deterred from doing what is fair, right and in the best interest of our community.”
In an email to the newspaper Hanson wrote, “The first recall effort failed and county leadership was on the road to again tackling the challenges facing the county. The second recall attempt, with its slander, character assassination and half-truths is simply an attempt, by threat and intimidation, to disrupt Lassen County government. The recall supporters are a small, vocal group attempting a coup of our county. This effort is doing great harm to District 5 and to the county.”
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