The number of qualified voters required to sign the petition shall be a number more than 25% of the total number of votes cast at the election of the officer whose recall is proposed;Since the councilor was elected in a runoff election ("the election of the officer whose recall is proposed"), the total number of votes cast was just 3,689. Harris would like a judge to rule that the charter really meant the regular election. In our opinion, the clerk's interpretation was the correct one. Mr. Harris did not become Councilor Harris until he defeated former Councilor Cummins in the run-off election. Had he lost that run-off, Councilor Harris would have remained Don Harris - former candidate.
Despite Councilor Harris' wishful thinking, the election in question is the run-off and the signatures required remain 922. We don't see how a judge could rule in Harris' favor, but it wouldn't be the first time that a judge created law out of thin air. Frankly, it comes as no surprise the the ghost writer of the Councilor Protection Act would sue to try and change the rules simply because he doesn't like them, or in this case because they don't work in his favor. After all the ruling Councilor Harris is seeking is identical to the charter change that our Eyes told us he suckered Councilor Loy into sponsoring; a ballot question that will appear on October's ballot.
Our Eyes tell us that the councilor's intentions were known to folks involved in the recall. You can bet Admiral Lowe is ready with a response. We bet that Councilor Harris' decision to sue will do more to help the recall effort than it does to help his cause. It's a little like trying to put out a fire with gasoline... or maybe jet fuel. You generally just create a highly combustible situation.
Other Recall News
While Mayor Marty is off on his panda hunt in China, S Pyke's recall effort goes on. According to a recent email Pyke has just under 30 days to finish getting the almost 22,000 signatures required. Albuquerque has never seen a successful recall of a city elected official so it's unlikely that this one will be successful even if a recall election takes place in October. But, you never know... who would have thought we'd be reading about not one, not two, but three recall efforts underway for two mayors and a hapless councilor?