Richard Ortiz and Martha Camacho recall, Soledad, California (2010)

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An effort to recall Richard Ortiz and Martha Camacho from their positions on the Soledad City Council in Monterey County failed because supporters did not turn sufficient valid signatures in to local election officials.[1][2][3] Ortiz is the Mayor of Soledad and Camacho is the Mayor Pro Tem.

Background

The recall effort, begun in August 2009, was led by a group called "Community for a Better Soledad." They wanted Ortiz and Camacho removed from office because:

  • They said Ortiz and Camacho mismanaged millions of dollars of city funds
  • They said the pair bungled deals to bring a Wal-Mart and movie theater to the city.
  • They believed that residents of Soledad will face major increases in wastewater fees if Ortiz and Camacho stay in office.[2]

The recall committee needed to collect about 1,033 signatures to force a recall vote.[2]

Reaction

Ortiz responded to efforts when he scolded the group organizing the effort stating: "A lot of the allegations are false. [The Committee for a Better Soledad] members are using disgruntled ex-employees as an opportunity take our seats."[4]

The councilman continued by saying: "The petitioners are failing to consider who has the responsibility for determining the outcome of financial management and the city's financial condition. These items are determined by the majority of the council and not singly by the mayor."

Ortiz sent a letter to district residents asking them not to sign the recall petition.[5]

Path to the ballot

Recall supporters had to collect 1,033 valid signatures by November 24 in order to force the recall. On November 23, a spokesperson for the recall campaign said they have collected about 1,100 signatures and would be turning them in on November 24.[5] Sufficient signatures were not certified. The election would have taken place in March or April 2010 if sufficient signatures had been collected.

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