Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Orange County Register: City of Tustin Mayor Faces Recall Election

Tustin citizens plan recall effort against mayor

TUSTIN – A group of residents is organizing to recall the mayor, and plan to hand him a written notice at Tuesday night's council meeting.

Charles Horvath, a 30-year Tustin resident, is leading the charge against Mayor Jerry Amante, who is termed out of office in November 2012.
Article Tab : Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante speaks in February at the annual Mayor's Inaugural Dinner put on by the Tustin Community Foundation.
Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante speaks in February at the annual Mayor's Inaugural Dinner put on by the Tustin Community Foundation.
Horvath said he and other residents are planning to attend Tuesday night's meeting to serve Amante with the required notice of intention signed by at least 10 registered Tustin voters. Copies of the notice will also be mailed to him, Horvath said.

"I'm very proud that for once I'll be able to show my kids that it's fine to stand up against wrong," Horvath said.

Once Amante has been given the notice, the document can be turned into the City Clerk, and Amante will have seven days to file a response to the recall effort, documents show. Once a notice has been filed, the process could take up to 125 days, the Orange County Registrar of Voters website states.

Calls to Amante were not returned.

A new council member would need to be elected or appointed if a recall of Amante is successful.
Horvath says he is not interested in political office and doesn't have anything against Amante personally.

He began attending council meetings during the run-up to the latest election and cited the firing of former Tustin City Manager David Biggs, the city's legal costs and the behavior of Amante during council meetings as reason for a recall.

"I see a guy that wants to create a monarchy of sorts under the guise of being a fiscal conservative, which is far from the truth," Horvath said. "I think it's our job to get him relieved of his position as soon as possible."

Since speaking at a council meeting in November and creating the email address http://earthlink.net/, Horvath said he's been getting phone calls and e-mails every day from supporters.

"People disagree with the way he does business. We just need him out," Horvath said.

The city of Tustin has 35,073 registered voters, said Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley. A petition for recall would require signatures from 20 percent of the registered voters, or 7,015 valid signatures, Kelley said.

"We represent the heart and blood of this city," Horvath said.

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