Al Pinheiro recall, Gilroy, California (2009)
Pinheiro was serving his second term as mayor of the city of about 40,000 residents known as the "Garlic Capital of the World" when he was targeted for recall.
The local police union led the effort to recall Pinheiro. They were angry at him because of a 5-2 vote of the Gilroy City Council in July 2009 to cut $1.1 million from the policy department budget.
Gilroy has a $4.7 million deficit.
Pinheiro responded to the recall effort by saying that the city must cut 20% of its budget and that all departments will have to adjust to this economic reality caused by the city's falling tax revenues.
The FBI keeps statistics on policing density. According to the FBI, Gilroy has about 1.1 police officers per 1,000 residents, compared with the national average of 1.5.
Path to the ballot
3,700 signatures would have been needed to force a recall election. Mark Zappa was the primary activist involved in collecting these signatures. Zappa said that if the City of Gilroy hadn't purchased Bonfante Gardens in 2008 for $13.2 million, it would have more money for necessities like policing.
Cost to conduct election
Had the recall materialized and been held as a special election, the cost of conducting it would have been between $400,000 and $420,000.