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City council recall, Baxter Springs, Kansas (2012)

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A vote about whether to recall three members of the Baxter Springs, Kansas city council took place on November 6, 2012.[1] The three officials facing recall were Gary Allen, Ron Costlow, and Ed McAfee. Costlow was recalled while Allen and McAfee were retained.[2] The recall effort was launched in June 2012.[3] A petition aimed at recalling Baxter Spring Mayor Jenifer Bingham was rejected in late June 2012.[4] City council member Robert St. Clair was also targeted for recall, but the recall petition against him was deemed invalid.[1]

Reasons for recall

The four recall targets were at odds with Baxter Springs Mayor Jenifer Bingham, and supporters of the mayor circulated recall petitions. The petitions allegde that the recall targets violated Kansas open meetings laws. Cathy Bolek was an organizer of the recall campaign. Bolek said citizens were also upset because six members of the council hired an attorney, with taxpayer money, whose fee is a minimum of $5,000 for up to 25 hours of work and $175 per hour for each additional hour.[3]

Path to the ballot

Petitions against Allen and Costlow were approved for circulation on June 15, while petitions against McAfee and St. Clair were approved for circulation on June 19. Recall organizers had 90 days to submit signatures. 112 signatures were required for Allen, 58 for St. Clair, 57 for Costlow, and 34 for McAfee. Those numbers represent 40% of the ballots cast in the most recent election in which the council members were elected.[3] On August 6, signatures were submitted on Allen's petition.[5] On August 29, petitions against Allen, Costlow, and McAfee were certified, and a recall election was scheduled for November 6, 2012.[6] The recall petition against St. Clair was deemed invalid because if five of the eight city council members were to be recalled, the city council would not be able to reach quorum.[1]

Election results

Gary Allen

Should Gary Allen be recalled?
Defeatedd No30554%
Yes 289 49%

Ed McAfee

Should Ed McAfee be recalled?
Defeatedd No13253%
Yes 115 47%

Ron Costlow

Should Ron Costlow be recalled?
Approveda Yes 183 54%

See also