|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Schatz wins J'ville recall

    Voters retain councilwoman 64 percent to 36 percent
  • JACKSONVILLE — Councilwoman Donna Schatz survived a recall election by more than 250 votes in balloting that ended Tuesday night.
    • email print
  • JACKSONVILLE — Councilwoman Donna Schatz survived a recall election by more than 250 votes in balloting that ended Tuesday night.
    Unofficial results released at 8:14 p.m. showed 336 yes votes, or 36 percent for recall, and 593 votes, or 64 percent against. Out of 2,024 eligible voters a total of 930 ballots were cast.
    "What a relief. It hasn't been a very good experience," said Schatz. "I got phone calls, emails, letters, some of them from people I couldn't connect a face with a name, that were very supportive, so I knew I had a lot of support."
    Schatz said she didn't hear from those who opposed her. When she reviewed the recall petition she said she only recognized a few names.
    Recall leader Hubert Smith wasn't surprised by the result.
    "It doesn't particularly surprise me because there's a constituency that feels like a person like her is person rather than a vote. To me she's a vote," said Smith, who circulated recall petitions which claimed that the City Council did not pay attention to public desires and did not manage city funds prudently.
    The City Council in June approved an $11 increase in a surcharge to pay for the Fire Department. Smith cited the increase as a key reason for the recall. In May voters had turned down a more costly hybrid surcharge and property tax levy to fund the department.
    Smith originally also targeted then-Mayor Bruce Garrett and Councilman Paul Becker for recall. Garrett resigned on Dec. 17 rather than face an election after enough signatures were collected to force the vote. Smith did not submit petitions to recall Becker after the pair met in early December to discuss Becker's view on support for the Fire Department.
    Schatz said the council needed to find out what level of services citizens want and what level they are willing to support, then put the issue to voters again.
    One longtime town resident was pleased with the outcome.
    "I am so happy because it shows that recall is a misused weapon," said Larry Smith. "It should only be used for malfeasance and criminal activity, never for disagreements."
    The petitioner still sees work ahead on the issue.
    "We'll just have a little bit more work to do before we get things straightened out," said Hubert Smith. "We're just going to have to get the Fire Department in line with what the town can afford."
Reader Reaction

      calendar