Gardner City Council recall, Gardner, Kansas, 2010
Mayor Drovetta is now responsible for appointing two individuals to fill the vacancies created by the recall vote.
The Gardner Recall Committee spearheaded the recall effort with the goal of removing the two council members based on allegations that they violated the Kansas Sunshine Law when they organized a special meeting to revise a city code. The sunshine law regulates conduct of elected officials in Kansas.
City Council member Steve Hale also supported the recall. Gardner has 5 city council members altogether. Recall supporters wanted to recall Dan Thompson as well, but only two names are allowed on a city council recall ballot at the same time.
The election was administered by Johnson County election officials.
Path to the ballot
On December 3, 2009 the Gardner Recall Committee submitted 750 signatures to recall Shepherd and 900 to recall Peters; more than enough signatures to force a recall election. The county election office had 30 days to verify the signatures.
The committee members submitted the petitions on August 19, 2009, but were left having to revise the petitions before the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office could approve it. According to the DA, the petition needed to have more facts detailing their allegations. In addition, the petition failed to provide signature spaces and appropriate supplemental affadivit filing. However, according to Election Commissioner Brian Newby: "It’s not uncommon for petitions to have to be revised."
Recall targets Peters and Shepard filed a lawsuit on November 2, 2009 to try to keep the recall vote off the ballot. The two council members stated that the petition is based on false allegations and does not meet all the requirements that is mandated by state law.
The two members' attorneys filed the suit in Johnson County District Court. In addition, Peters and Shepard wanted the court to issue a restraining order to stop the defendants from continuing the petition drive and requested an injunction that would stop any vote that could result from the recall.
The court ruled against Peters and Shepherd, allowing the recall to go forward. A request for an emergency stay of the vote pending an appeal was denied in the week before the election. Those seeking to avoid the vote on March 2 are considering an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court.
- Gardner Recall official website
- Gardner Recall on Facebook
- Official website for Gardner, Kansas
- City of Gardener website's recall information
- Johnson County election board's information on Shepherd and Peters recall
- Gardner Edge, "Are you registered to vote?," February 11, 2010
- Kansas City Star, "Gardner recall meets success at polls," March 2, 2010
- Gardener Edge, "GardnerEDGE requests statements from city council"
- Public Broadcasting, "Gardner Recall Election," March 1, 2010
- Kansascity.com, "DA approves petitions for recall of two Gardner council members" October 6, 2009
- NBC,"Recall Committee Reaches Signature Goal," December 4, 2009
- Gardner Recall Committee,"Recall Petitions Filed with Johnson County Election Office," accessed December 9, 2009
- Kansas City.com, "DA says Gardner group must revise recall petition," August 28, 2009
- Kansas City Star, "Gardner council members file suit over recall petition," November 6, 2009
- Kansas City Star, "Appeals court, judge refuse to halt vote for two Gardner City Council members," February 26, 2010