The city of Granite Shoals implemented procedural steps to ensure transparency if residents want to recall City Council members.
During the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15, City Manager Jeff Looney announced an updated process. A petition to remove former Mayor Carl Brugger and Place 2 Councilor Bruce Jones prompted the change.
The most important procedural step, Looney said, is residents must now submit separate petitions for each councilor if they want to remove more than one.
The recall election petition was brought by Citizens Rights Group of Granite Shoals on the heels of the council approving a $37,000 pay increase for Looney in August. Organizers hoped to get the measure on the Nov. 3 ballot but missed a deadline, moving it to May 2021.
However, Brugger and Jones both resigned, ending the process. Jones rejoined the council following the Nov. 3 election as he ran unopposed on the ballot.
Other procedural steps include scheduling an appointment with the city secretary or other designee to submit the petition, which the presenter must initial on each page.
The petition circulator must verify the statements in the document are true and accurate, that he or she personally circulated the petition, and that all signatures were made in his or her presence.
A notary public must also notarize a petition before it is submitted to the city.
Copies of the petition will be given to the presenter for their records, made available for public inspection, and be used as working copies for the verification process.
The additional steps are important, Looney said, and provide safeguards for councilors so they can vote their conscience without always fearing recall.
Looney hopes residents who chose not to run for the council because of what happened to Brugger and Jones will re-evaluate.
“Hopefully, it offers encouragement to folks considering running in the future,” he said.