Dana Trowbridge recall, David City, Nebraska, 2009
Petition organizer Steve Gaston supported the recall effort to oust the mayor because he was concerned with the future of the police department and is unhappy with the salary of City Administrator Joe Johnson. According to Gaston:"[The Mayor's actions] have proven not to be in the best interest or with regard to the welfare of the citizens of David City."
Path to the ballot
Gaston stated that he collected the required 362 signatures needed for a recall vote. The 362 signatures represent 35 percent of city registered voters who voted in the last mayoral election.
Gaston submitted the signatures to Butler County Clerk’s Office during the week of August 20, 2009, complete with 440 signatures. Of the signatures on the petition, 388 were verified, giving the recall effort enough support to place it on an early October ballot.
Trowbridge filed a lawsuit on August 24, 2009 in the Butler County District Court against Gaston. The lawsuit was also against the county clerk. In the lawsuit, Trowbridge cited fraudlent signatures and illegal gathering as the foundation of taking legal action. Gaston denied using such tactics.
On October 13, 2009, a judge ruled that the recall petition drive was short of gathering signatures to force a recall election. According to District Judge Mary Gilbride, three petition circulators did not read a required statement about the reasons for the recall when presenting the petition for people to sign. As a result, 48 signatures were nullified. Steve Gaston, one of the three petition circulators, stated he would appeal the decision.
Gaston later decided not to appeal the judge's ruling, stating he would start another recall effort if Trowbridge were to run again. The appeal could take up to a year, according to Gaston, leading to the group's decision.
- The Lincoln Journal Star, "Organizer: Enough signatures for David City mayor recall election," August 14, 2009
- kcautv.com, "David City, Neb., recall signatures verified," August 21, 2009 (dead link)
- News Channel 4, "David City, Neb., recall group vows to appeal," October 13, 2009
- Omaha.com, "Mayor sues recall organizer," August 25, 2009 (dead link)
- Action 3 News, "David City, Neb., recall group gives up for now," November 12, 2009