Russian River Fire Protection District Board recall, California (2014)
An effort to recall the Russian River Fire Protection District Board in Sonoma County, California was launched in September 2013. The effort initially targeted three of the five board members: Raymond Locke, Kevin O'Shea and Linda Payne. However, the effort ultimately targeted just O'Shea and Payne. Enough signatures were collected to trigger a recall election, which was held on April 8, 2014. The recall effort was approved, as both O'Shea and Payne were recalled, each by over 80% of voters.
Linda Payne, in August 2014, said she was running again for the district board. She stated, "I don’t think ‘might’ should win out over ‘right,’ and, if it does, ‘right’ has to go down fighting." Payne said her recall was a "union-orchestrated maneuver." She will be challenging Kyle O’Connor for his seat.
Below are the official election results:
|Kevin O'Shea Recall (2014)|
|Linda Payne Recall (2014)|
In early August 2013, the District Board voted in a closed meeting to dismiss District Fire Chief Max Ming. The action enraged local residents, who called for both the reinstating of Ming and the resignation of the board members most responsible for the dismissal. Recall proponents blamed Payne because she initiated the vote. They blamed O'Shea because he was the board chairman and a former fire chief. They also blamed Locke, a new board member, because he helped O'Shea hand Ming his letter of dismissal.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in California
On September 11, 2013, recall supporters handed O'Shea and Payne "notices of intent" to recall, beginning the recall process for the two board members. Recall supporters were preparing to start a recall on Locke, but were required to wait until Locke had held his position on the board for at least 90 days. Ultimately, O'Shea and Payne were both recalled.
- The Press Democrat, "Russian River fire district ousting prompts recall bid," September 13, 2013
- Sonoma West Times & News, "River Fire District recall petitions validated," December 4, 2013
- KTVU.com, "Sonoma County voters to decide three issues in special election," April 8, 2014
- Watch Sonoma County, "Bodega Bay fire tax measure fails; Russian River fire board members recalled," April 9, 2014
- The Press Democrat, "Ousted Russian River fire director aims for fall ballot," August 22, 2014
- County of Sonoma, "Final Results for Special Election – April 8, 2014," accessed April 30, 2014