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Attempted Recall Effort Launch At Calaveras Supes’ Meeting Misfires

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San Andreas, CA – Already known for its sometimes volatile public comment periods, this week’s Calaveras supervisors’  meeting included an attempted recall effort notification that will legally require a do-over.

Among the speakers to take the audience podium Tuesday morning included a man who did not publicly identify himself as he served Board Clerk Diane Severud with paperwork.

Queried by Clarke Broadcasting about the incident, Rebecca Turner, Calaveras County Clerk-Recorder & Registrar of Voters Rebecca Turner, acknowledged the notice, dated Feb. 11, was not legally made as per the State Elections Code. In fact, she issued a response to the server, which the filing indicated as Kevin McAllister of Valley Springs, providing the correct procedure requirements.

In a letter to McAllister, Turner cited that specifically missing in the attempted notification were the printed names, signatures, and residence or alternative mailing addresses, including street and number, city, and zip codes of each of the listed recall proponents (of which the filing included 23). She also pointed out that unless the notice was delivered by certified mail to the officer sought to be recalled, the notice needed to have been hand-delivered in person to that officer.

Turner, who was not at the meeting and who did not know McAllister, could not say whether it was McAllister who spoke in front of the supervisors’ meeting. The man did utilize his entire allotment of public comment time to explain a planned recall against District 5 Supervisor and Vice Chair Benjamin Stopper, whose jurisdiction includes the communities of Milton, Jenny Lind, and Rancho Calaveras.

He began by maintaining that Stopper violated his oath of office, failed to defend the Constitution of the United States, and voted to dissolve the District 5 Community Service Area, which he claimed removed local representation involving local road conditions.

Commercial Cannabis At Recall Effort Core  

Getting into what appeared to be the core of his criticisms, the speaker also criticized Stopper for voting late last year to return the regulation of commercial cannabis to Calaveras, which he described as a vote to increase crime, decrease property values, and increase litigation against the county.

However, he also aired additional accusations against Stopper that included: failing to attend assigned committee meetings; voting to illegally fund the county’s cannabis program by approving the setup of its Division of Cannabis Control without money in the bank, and possibly being involved in a conflict of interest with his employment at Calaveras County Water District (CCWD) and a family member’s employment with the county.

Stopper, as reported here, told Clarke Broadcasting after his election that he was prioritizing getting the General Plan Update done and working together to heal some of the community divisiveness that was impeding forward progress.

District 5 is associated with a particularly colorful past of recall petitions. In the last election, Stopper handily defeated former District 5 Supervisor Clyde Clapp, who, after leading a commercial cannabis-ban supportive recall attempt against his predecessor Steve Kearney, won the seat and served the remaining one-year balance of that term.

A primary motivator for Kearney’s recall was based on his vote to allow a proposed asphalt plant at Hogan Quarry in Valley Springs without requiring a conditional use permit. Personal vendettas seemed to form the basis for two failed recall attempts in 2011 and 2012 against former District 5 Supervisor Darren Spellman.

Along with what has already been described above, a recall process must include furnished proof that notices of intent have been advertised a local publication. After steps to this point are complete, elections officials have ten days to clear a recall petition for signature gathering. Once that happens, in order to force a recall election, the recall proponents have 90 days to gather signatures from 25 percent of the registered voters in the district.

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