LiberalOC Exclusive: Tustin Citizens Group to Serve Mayor Amante with Recall Petition

Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante

The LiberalOC has learned that an organized group of Tustin residents will serve Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante with a recall petition at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.  While the organizers of the group have not yet revealed their identities, the petition adheres to the standards required to recall public officials.

We also learned that Amante is likely aware of the pending action, which may explain why he’s holding a fundraiser at the Tustin Ranch Golf Center on Wednesday April 6.  We questioned why a termed out Mayor/City Council member, with no office to run for, would hold a fundraiser.  The consultants managing the event refused to explain what the funds were being raised for. 

We believe the funds raised are likely to be used by Amante to fight the recall in an election should organizers get the 7,000 signatures required to place the recall on the ballot.  The general theme of the fundraiser is “support Jerry Amante.”

Organizers have 120 days to gather the needed signatures and have been advised to get more than necessary to ensure the recall of Amante goes to the voters.  Amante can respond to the petition of recall within a 200 word limit.

The grounds for the recall are as follows, from a draft copy of the petition (we’re told a final copy of the petition will be sent when completed).

During Jerry Amante’s term as City Council member and Mayor of Tustin:

  •  Amante consistently bullies, belittles and humiliates council members, staff and citizens.  In an attempt to promote his own agenda, he has publicly abused citizens who spoke out at City Council meetings, including recently clearing public citizens out of the council chambers.  
  • Amante’s disregard for taxpayer dollars has tripled Tustin’s legal fees over the last 5 years from under $700,000 in 2005-06 to over $1,600,000 in 2009-10.  
  • Amante lead the charge in firing the new City Manager after only four months, leaving taxpayers with over $190,000 in termination costs.  
  • Amante lead the charge to file a costly and frivolous lawsuit against the Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) and opposed the TUSD’s Measure G which was designed to improve our schools.  
  • Amante has used thousands of hours of staff time to back his personal agenda, including the recent appeal of a planning commission decision and subsequent harassment of the property owners in Old Town Tustin.  
  • Amante condemned pillar organizations of Tustin; American Legion, Tustin Fine Arts Council, Tustin-Santa Ana Rotary and the Tustin Preservation Conservancy and began a campaign to shut off their funds.

While the initial petition only requires 10 signatures, organizers tell us when they present the petition for recall at the city council meeting, they are hoping for 25 signatures.  The group is seeking support from Tustin residents with help gathering signatures and voter registration efforts.

Copies of the Amante letters that show his disconnect from various community organizations are still posted on a website from former Tustn Council candidate Sherri Loveland.  In the letters, Amante cites political positions taken by organizations against candidates he supported as reasons for withdrawing his membership and support.

And while the letters show Amante to be a vindictive sort of guy (would he have written the same letters had said organizations backed his candidates?), it’s the fiscal mismanagement and partisan politicizing of his office that have this citizens group up in arms.  We’re told that the group includes both Republicans and Democrats; Amante is apparently a uniter and not a divider.  The group expects Amante to retaliate against them.

Political observers in Tustin believe the grassroots group can easily gather the needed signatures.  And the fundraiser for Amante on April 6 surely means that Amante knows they can, and he’s raising money to challenge the recall.  Once the measure makes it to the ballot, expect a group of possible replacement candidates to step forward much like the model used for the recall of Governor Gray Davis.  So the ballot may look like two questions:

1. Should Jerry Amante be recalled from the city council (yes or no).

2. If Jerry Amante is recalled, which candidate from the list below should be elected to replace him for the remainder of his term?  Followed by a list of candidates. 

It’s going to be fun to watch.

  0 comments for “LiberalOC Exclusive: Tustin Citizens Group to Serve Mayor Amante with Recall Petition

  1. Ridiculous
    March 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Comment deleted for TOS violations

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Well, Jerry is an expert on wasting taxpayer money. I believe Mr. Biggs would like another Lemonade while he draws a check for not working for Tustin.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Before we start attacking people you think are involved in the recall, perhaps we should wait until the petitioners names are released.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    March 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    “Fortunately, none of the points you list as the “reasons” for the recall are true and are easily refuted with actual evidence”

    point one: there’s video footage of Amante doing just that.
    point two: documented from city budget records
    point three: documented, and yes Gomez voted for the removal, but Amante led the effort.
    point four: documented
    point five: documented on the case of the home in Old Town and I’m sure others can provide other examples
    point six: click the link for the letters…

    • Nathan Menard
      March 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      On point four; Referencing Jerry’s opposition of Tustin Unified School District Measure G. Jerry sent out direct mailers to the registered voters of Tustin.

  3. March 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Point about the fund raiser may or may not have been for fighting the recall; however, I suspect it the reason for the fund raising existed months ago, when a recall action was but a dream in the heart of many Tustin residents. The series of letters he wrote exist on line. He won’t be able to deny the tone and irresponsible and threats he made against these organizations. He decries taxes, penny pinches his fellow councilmemebers, wastes money on legal actions which appear mean-spirited and may represent a venting of his personal rage. He instituted fees at the Senior Center which drove out the
    woodcrafters (who now meet at a church) Then the firing of a newly appointed City Manager which will end up costing nearly $200,000! Why was this man fired before he got up and running? (Don’t
    think Mr. Biggs will say anything. $200,000 is good pay for 4 months work… AND he does not have to deal with Mayor Amante.

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      I don’t think Mr. Biggs can say anything by contract. Neither can the council.

  4. Matthew Cunningham
    March 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Hey — whatever happened to the “Campaign for Civility”?

    Or is that reserved for Democrats?

    • Dan Chmielewski
      March 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Not sure what you mean here Matt; YouTube videos have documented Jerry’s behavior. Its hard ot make a case for him as a fiscal conservative. The citizens group crosses party lines.

  5. Keep da Peace
    March 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Let me at that petition! I want Boss Tweed Amante to see my signature clearly. Can I be first. Then it will truly be, “good riddance, Jerry!”

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    March 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    How about carrying one around to gather signatures? The organizers will be at the Tustin City Council meeting Tuesday

  7. Angry Tustin Resident
    April 1, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Amante needs to be recalled. What was missing in this discussion was the multi-million dollar law suit that the city lost, under Amante’s dictadorship. Also, in regard to the campaign for civility. A group of us went to the city council meeting after a previous city council meeting, where Amante lambasted a citizen who had the audacity to complain about the flyer that councilman Davert had sent out prior to the election attacking a candidate for the council. How dare citizens question or complain about king Amante??

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    April 1, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I suggest everyone check outr KOCE’s Rick Reiff program tonight; Amante is on and he gets asked about it. Show airs at 7:30

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    April 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    an update: organizers have about 24 signatures after a petition signing party last night. Amante will be served at city hall, his home and his place of business

  10. Tustin Against Amante
    April 2, 2011 at 12:54 am

    SAVE TUSTIN – RECALL JERRY “LIAR” AMANTE! Corrupted arrogant bully, you time will be soon over and we breath fresh air again! We all can’t wait for this day to come! Next thing will be to disbar you, – we are cooking this meal for you, too, and it will be hot and spicy.

  11. Dan Chmielewski
    April 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Update Update: the group will submit about 30 signatures. The Register had a story in the print edition but oddly enough, it’s not online yet