Victor Varela recall, Ronda, North Carolina (2013)
A vote about whether to recall Victor Varela from his position as mayor of Ronda, North Carolina was launched in 2012. The effort did not go to a vote because of inconsistencies in the town charter. Instead, a vote about whether to instate a recall provision was placed on the November 2013 election ballot.
The recall effort was initiated in 2012 by Kevin Reece. Reece alleged Varela had committed "misconduct" through "unprofessional behavior," stating, "When you hold any office of power you have a duty to set a positive example for others to follow and based on the information I have received, Mayor Varela has failed to carry himself in the proper way as a town official. The citizens who have signed agree." It was noted that just prior to the petition Varela had opted not to appoint Reece as a town commissioner and that the town was considering a noise ordinance that would have affected Reece's ability to keep chickens at his home; Reece claimed the recall was not a result of either point.
Varela was elected as mayor in 2011 with 62 votes over Manuel Wood with 17 votes and 10 write-in. In 2012 the town had 266 registered voters.
The recall petition read:
|“||We the people, petitioning as qualified electors, petition to recall the mayor of the Town of Ronda, N.C., currently held by Victor Varela. As set forth in the Town of Ronda Charter on page number 225-226 Chapter V. (Recall of officials by the people) for misconduct as a representative of the Town of Ronda. Sponsored by: The citizens of Ronda, N.C.||”|
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in North Carolina
On October 22, 2012, Reece submitted a recall petition with 76 signatures to Town Administrator Lahoma O’Lague. However there was confusion over whether the town properly had a recall provision. A 1917 version of the town charter provided for recall if signatures were gathered from 25 percent of the town's registered voters, but a 1920 version failed definitively select the provision.
It was subsequently determined by a state official that the town did not properly provide for recall. Then in April 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill officially allowing the town to vote on the issue in November 2013. The new recall provision would require signatures from at least 50 percent of town's registered voters.
A recall election was estimated to cost between $1,200 and $1,500.
- Wilkes Journal-Patriot, "Legislature passes Ronda recall bill," April 5, 2013
- Wilkes Journal-Patriot, "Petition asks for recall of Ronda mayor," October 24, 2012
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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