Portola City Clerk Leslie Tigan reported that a group of twenty signatories filed paperwork with the city on Friday afternoon, August 5, of their intent to circulate a petition to recall Portola Mayor Dan Wilson.
The group charged Wilson with refusing “to consider the concerns of the people of Portola regarding water and sewer rate hikes” and with ignoring the question of affordability. The notice alleges that this is creating an atmosphere of mistrust that has ‘permanently affected your ability to work productively for the city.”
Wilson now has seven days to respond to the parties and is currently working on his response.
Wilson was one of three council members who voted to institute the rate hikes at the July 13 meeting. The rate hikes had already successfully completed the Prop 218 process but had not been put into effect, pending further review. An Ad Hoc Committee on Water and Sewer Rates, composed of Council members William Weaver and Juliana Mark, was disbanded at the same meeting and the citizens participating in the committee meetings were invited to bring their questions and concerns before the full council.
Several past council members are among the signatories filing intent to recall and one of them, Fran Roudebush, commented, “They’re not listening. We’ve come to them and they’re just not listening. You have to listen to the people, whether you like it or not.”
When asked why all three of the council members supporting the rate hike were not targeted, Roudebush responded that it only took one to change the balance of power and she felt that Wilson was an obstacle to reaching the other two members, John Larrieu and Curt McBride.
Tigan reported that the process to institute a recall might be a three month process, with a special election after that. The full process could take as long as five months. The cost of a special election would be borne by the city.
Only one city council member has ever been recalled within Tigan’s memory and that was Larry Douglas, also a signatory on the petition.
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