The Recall Amante Committee has announced that it was unsuccessful in collecting the minimum number of signatures needed to recall Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante by Tuesday’s deadline. The committee was several hundred signatures short of the more than 7,000 required.
“Recalls are difficult at best and as a truly grassroots organization, raising money and sustaining commitments from volunteers to gather signatures over the summer was difficult for us,” said Chuck Horvath, the head of the RecallAmante Committee. “We are proud of the effort we made coming within several hundred signatures of the threshold.”
According to Horvath, the committee believed the multiple revisions of the recall petition rejected by the city clerk caused the group to miss the Tustin Chili Cookoff which would have allowed the group the opportunity to gather a significant number of signatures early when interest was high.
“If our petition had been approved in time for the Chili Cookoff, which attracted thousands of Tustin residents, we are confident our initiative to recall the Mayor would have made the ballot,” said Horvath. “Our petition should have been approved by the second draft, not the fifth one. The city clerk did us no favors. All you have to do is look to Fullerton in how quickly those recall petitions were approved. We do believe we’ve drawn attention to the bad behavior Mayor Amante exhibits to Tustin taxpayers and residents and none of us will be sad to see him go next year as he is termed out.”
Horvath said he sees his grassroots group’s role continues but this time as a watchdog on Mayor Amante and the council majority’s activities in being fiscally irresponsible.
“I want to thank those Tustin residents who volunteered, gave money and signed our petitions,” said Horvath. “I am sorry we fell short.”
We asked about the petitions themselves; Horvath says they’ve been destroyed to protect the identities of those who signed. Amante has admitted to having a vindictive side.
Our take is recalls are hard. The group received no support from TUSD officials because of the ongoing legal battle with the city. Amante proudly proclaimed at the Tustin City Council meeting that “not a single signature was turned in.”
And while that’s true, it’s far from the truth. Thousands of Tustin residents signed the petition and Amante now carries the shame of being one of two Tustin mayors to ever be the subject of a recall. Our friends at Our Town Tustin noted that since the recall, Amante has been “nicer,” so if Amante views the failure of the recall effort as a victory for him, he’s be mistaken. If anything, he should make an effort to reach out to residents who opposed him. But judging form the number of no-bid contracts still being doiled out in Tustin, it’s getting harder and harder to buy Amate’s position he is a fiscal conservative (no-bid contracts have a place and a need, but for things like cleaning services, it really should be the lowest bidder).
From the Register’s story on his comments:
“I’ve always maintained that the recall effort was unfair, unjustified and carried out for political revenge,” Amante said. “I’m pleased to report that not one single signature was presented to the city clerk by today’s deadline and there will be no recall election.”
Amante said he looks forward to serving the rest of his term. He is termed out of office in November 2012.
For those who organized, gave money and the thousands who did sign the petition, November 2012 can’t come soon enough. Smart of Chuck to protect the names of those who signed.