James Gosey and Dulani Masimini recall, Forest Hill, Texas (2010)
A review of recall signatures determined that enough people signed petitions to schedule a recall vote; however, on May 4, the Forest Hill City Council declined to schedule a vote on the recall and said it was "a dead issue." On July 6, the city council voted again, 4-2, not to schedule a recall vote.
Robert Shanklin, a former councilmember, is one leader in the recall effort. One motivation for the recall was the city council's 4-2 vote on December 1, 2009 to remove City Manager David Miller. The recall petitions also mentioned misconduct, violation of the city charter and abuse of power. Gosey was accused of circumventing state bid laws and of expecting city staff to disregard code requirements. Masimini was accused of credit card misuse.
The recall vote will be the third recall election in Forest Hill in five years. Mayor Malinda Miller was recalled in 2005 because of controversy over a financial settlement entered into between the city and a former city manager that she supported.
City manager hired
In advance of the recall vote, the city announced that it had hired a new city manager for a term of one year. Sheyi Ipaye will be the city's third city manager in six years.
Path to the ballot
248 verified signatures are required to force a recall vote.
Election officials originally said that recall supporters had not turned in enough signatures to force a recall, but this determination was overturned on review.
When election officials announced in early March that petitioners had failed to provide enough signatures, recall organizer Ozell Birks indicated that recall supporters would continue with their efforts: "We know the little game, and it had nothing to do with the signatures. This is just another chapter in the corruption. It's our right to have a recall process."
City refuses to schedule vote
On May 4, by a vote of 3-1, the Forest Hill City Council voted against holding a recall election in November. According to a local newspaper, after the recall group submitted its recall signatures in February, "...acting City Secretary Grace Edwards couldn't settle questions about the validity of the signatures in time."
In response to this decision, recall leader Ozell Birks said his group planned to meet with a district judge: "We want to go before a district judge to call for a special election because [the council] messed us around. Our rights as citizens are being thrown in our face."
About Forest Hill
Forest Hill is a suburb of Fort Worth in Tarrant County, Texas. Its population was 12,949 as of the 2000 census.
- Star-Telegram, "Forest Hill recall petitions ruled valid, but too late for May election," March 15, 2010 (dead link)
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Forest Hill residents might go to court," May 7, 2010 (dead link)
- Star Telegram, "Forest Hill City Council votes down recall election for second time," July 14, 2010 (dead link)
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Another recall attempt is under way in Forest Hill," December 14, 2009 (dead link)
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Forest Hill keeps local elections interesting," April 28, 2010 (dead link)
- Star Telegram, "Forest Hill recall election among possible May 8 ballot items," February 21, 2010 (dead link)
- Fort Worth Star Telegram, "Forest Hill hires third city manager in six years," March 26, 2010 (dead link)
- Star Telegram, "Forest Hill recall petitions rejected for lack of verified signatures," March 4, 2010 (dead link)