A May recall election for Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger and Place 2 Councilor Bruce Jones could still happen as organizers plan to turn in signed petitions requesting it.
The Citizens Group of Granite Shoals has collected 222 signatures, 76 more than the minimum required, for a recall election, according to Phil Ort, the group’s spokesman.
Ort said he plans to turn in the petitions to City Hall on Monday, Sept. 28. City Secretary Elaine Simpson will review the petitions to make sure the signatures are from registered voters in the city of Granite Shoals. If they are valid, the recall election for Mayor Carl Brugger and Councilor Bruce Jones will be on the May 2021 ballot.
Brugger’s term expires in May 2021, and he isn’t eligible to run for re-election due to term limits. Jones is running unopposed for his seat in the Nov. 3 general election. Organizers missed an Aug. 1 deadline to put the recall election on the November ballot.
The recall initiative stems from the Granite Shoals City Council unanimously approving a $37,000 pay raise during an Aug. 4 meeting for City Manager Jeff Looney. During an Aug. 11 meeting, two councilors tried to rescind the pay hike, but the measure failed.
The group, which formed within days of the council approving the raise, intended to recall the entire council but decided against that to allow for some continuity in government, Ort said.
Ort emphasized the group didn’t want to go this route but couldn’t simply continue watching decisions and votes being made without taking action, even though Brugger cannot seek re-election.
“It would send a message to council that citizens demand representation,” he said. “I don’t have any personal grudges against any council member. I truly wished they listened to citizens. They made their choices. It is unfortunate it had to come to this point.”
Ort is on the November ballot challenging Place 6 Councilor Will Skinner for his spot on the council.