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Brian McAchran recall, Buckeye, Arizona (2009)

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Citizens in Arizona's Buckeye District 1 launched a recall effort against town councilman Brian McAchran, but failed to turn in petition signatures by the July 1, 2009 deadline.[1]

Background

Brian Pope of Buckeye District 1 filed the recall packet for Brian McAchran on the grounds that "McAchran failed to disclose conflicts of interest during council votes." According to the recall document filed by Pope, "Brian McAchran is being recalled as a result of his failure to abstain from voting on certain town issues for which either he or his business directly benefits from as a result of his participation as a town official." Although not named in the document, it refers to McAchran's business receiving a $25,000 grant from the town to pave its parking lot. Pope stated the money is "redoing the sidewalk directly in front of his business."

There was also an allegation that McAchran, who is a former Buckeye police officer, engaged in a real estate transaction with another Buckeye officer "for personal gain, which is not allowed by town law that governs elected servants of the town."

Rick Fernandez, chairman of Citizens For a Better Buckeye, said that volunteers had gathered more than 288 required signatures needed to put a recall up for voting. However, Fernandez stated that as a result of the recall, McAchran and the mayor had "suddenly become unified" and that the group "feels much progress has taken place over the last couple of months." The recall campaign was dropped.[2]

Mayoral response

In response to the various recall efforts, Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck advised the citizens involved in the recall effort to stop in light of the town's application for stimulus money.[3]

"It asks right here . . . 'Is there any recall action pending?' That's the language in the stimulus (application)," Meck says. "This (project) is a big one for us. If it seems like we can't even get along as a council, that affects our ability."

The applications sought up to $33 million for wastewater treatment improvements in Buckeye. Buckeye has faced an increasingly difficult financial situation, with many layoffs already, and more seemingly imminent as the town's estimated revenues will be about 30 percent less than the $57 million town officials projected originally.

"Just the rumor of the recall is damaging. The unknown is troubling to developers. At this point, there's no recall election, but it was enough for some developers to call me," he said. "Of anytime the community should come together, it's now. This is divisive."

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