Dave Machado and Mark Acuna recall, Placerville, California (2010)
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John Nerwinski was a core leader of the recall effort. He served on Placerville's city council in the 1990s.
If the recall effort had succeeded at forcing a vote, the election would have been administered by El Dorado County election officials.
2011 arrest of Machado
In August 2011, Machado was arrested on felony charges related to his management of several properties in Placerville. At the time of his arrest, he was serving as mayor of Placerville. A majority of the members of the Placerville City Council asked him to step down from that position in the wake of the arrest. As of September 14, 2011, he remained as a member of the city council.
John Nerwinski, a leader in the 2010 recall effort, said that he did not expect Machado to resign his position: "I think he would hang onto that seat as long as he possibly could."
Reasons given for recall
The recall effort stemmed from a vote taken by the Placerville City Council in October 2009 that raised sewer rates by 88% and water rates by 43%. The "notice of intent to circulate recall petitions" said that this vote "caused great financial and emotional hardship by raising water and sewer rates to unreasonable levels."
The "notice of intent" also said:
- The city council created a conflict of interest by hiring John Driscoll to be the city's manager and the city's attorney.
- The city council has failed to maintain streets and sidewalks to reasonable standards.
- The city has been spending money on new projects, rather than maintaining and repairing existing infrastructure.
Response of recall targets
City council members said that the state required the city to make $45 million in improvements to Placerville's wastewater treatment plant, and they had no choice but to upgrade the city's aging water distribution system. In their view, the only way to pay for these upgrades was to raise water and sewer rates.
City council members Pierre Rivas, Patty Borrelli and Carl Hagen also voted for the hike in water and sewer rates in October 2009, but their terms on the city council ended in November 2010. The November 2, 2010 ballot is the earliest that the Machado-Acuna recall could have been on the ballot, and it is believed that this is why only Machado and Acuna are targeted.
Path to the ballot
Recall organizers would have had to collect signatures equaling 25% of the 5,149 registered voters in Placerville to force a recall vote.