Beaumont Mayor Nancy Carroll and Mayor Pro-tem Julio Martinez were served with letters of intent to recall them from office at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The letters were given to Deputy City Clerk Nicole Wheelwright by local activist Libi Uremovic during the public comment section of the meeting.
Carroll and Martinez could not respond during the meeting, but during separate breaks, they gave their statements to The Record Gazette about the intent to recall.
Martinez said, “I just hope that the residents of Beaumont that pass the fake news will concentrate on the good that needs to be done.”
Carroll said, “There’s no basis. But if there was a basis, it should have been done prior to this and we shouldn’t be singled out on these issues.”
In the intention to recall petition, the grounds for recalling Martinez and Carroll include:
“For failure to hold those responsible for the misuse/embezzlement of $400 million from the citizens of Beaumont. Not one person has been fired or held accountable. Not one complaint has been filed to state and/or federal authorities.”
“For charging $8 million a year more than needed to pay the CFD bond premium and interest payments.
“For failure to hire honest, qualified staff and follow state and federal laws, which caused the SEC to issue a cease and desist order on Aug. 23, 2017.”
“For being poor custodians of the people’s money.
“For continuing to flood the housing market without first securing the well-being of the current citizens of Beaumont by providing recycled water, fire stations and adequate roadways.
“For failure to properly account for Mitigation Fees. The city should have collected the $50 million needed for a sewer expansion from the developers, not from current ratepayers.”
“For approving the Potrero Interchange and for ushering in millions of square feet of warehouses that will create excessive smog and congestion to the entire Pass area.”
Uremovic said she needed 20 residents to sign the petition and she got 25. She said she walked around the Seneca Springs neighborhood, knocking on doors to get signatures, and also stood outside of the Beaumont post office on Beaumont Avenue.
Uremovic’s name is on the recall petition list. She said she moved to Beaumont in January 2018 so she could register to vote. Judy Bingham also paid for two legal ads regarding the recall in this week’s Record Gazette.
As far as the recall process, Uremovic said that Martinez and Carroll would have seven days to respond to the petition.
City clerk Wheelwright will have to verify the signatures and then Uremovic would be able to do the mass recall, which would require a certain number of signatures that are equal to the number, and not less than, of the percent of registered voters in Beaumont, according to the California State Elections Code.
Uremovic said those signatures would be due in mid-June.
If all of those signatures are approved, the county elections official would determine when an election would take place.
Uremovic said that councilmembers Lloyd White, Mike Lara and Rey Santos are up for re-election in November 2018 and can’t be recalled right now. If they are re-elected in November, Uremovic said she and Judy Bingham would recall them within 10 days.
Uremovic said that the recall was the only option for her, Bingham and residents of Beaumont.
“People feel helpless against their government, but the power has always been with the people - they just have to take control of their government,” Uremovic said.
Staff writer Julie farren may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.