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Keep Cal Fire Campaign Turns in 9,983 Signatures for Recalls

The 120 days to gather signatures to recall Coastside Fire Protection District Board directors are up. Now San Mateo County Elections Office has 30 business days to verify the signatures.

Keep Cal Fire campaign members had 120 days to collect signatures after the San Mateo County Elections Office approved their petition on June 28, 2012, to recall Coastside Fire Protection District Directors Mike Alifano, Gary Riddell and Douglas Mackintosh, who want to get rid of Cal Fire and go back to a standalone department.

Last week, those 120 days were finally up. By Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, Keep Cal Fire volunteers turned in petitions to the San Mateo County Elections Office with a total of 9,983 signatures to recall Coastside Fire Protection District Directors Alifano, Riddell and Mackintosh with the following individual breakdowns:

Alifano – 3290 signatures
Riddell – 3366 signatures
Mackintosh – 3327 signatures

Keep Cal Fire proponents continued to gather signatures up until the day they filed the petitions. This is because they need every signature they can get to make sure they qualify the petitions for the ballot. Their signature-gathering efforts included volunteers sitting outside New Leaf, signs and campaign collateral and a booth at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival.

County Elections now has 30 business days to verify each signature, or they may choose to verify a random sampling of signatures.

If the number of valid signatures is greater than or equal to the minimum required number, County Elections certifies the petition as sufficient, notifies the proponents, and submits a certificate of sufficiency to the governing board.

Within 14 days after the meeting at which the governing body receives the certificate of sufficiency, the governing body issues an order for an election to be held. The election is held between 88 and 125 days after the issuance of the order.  

Candidates may file nomination papers and declarations of candidacy after the order of the election is issued and up to 75 days prior to the date of the election.

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Abby Foster October 30, 2012 at 05:13 AM
This is a misuse of the recall. The board members in question were elected because of their willingness to weigh the evidence, listen to the community, and make the best decision for the protection of our coastside residents. Those who are biased in favor of keeping CalFire are now trying to recall them for fulfilling their campaign promise. What a waste of time and money! The recall election should not be happening.
JB Cockrell October 30, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Abby: Two of the three directors mentioned were not elected, hence they made no campaign promises. They were appointed. None of the three has listened to the public pleas to keep Cal-Fire. The special election may cost as much as $130,000.00. This amount palls in comparison to the 100s of thousands already wasted on consultants, not to mention the millions more their "stand alone" department will cost the taxpayers for inferior emergency service.
John R Ullom November 01, 2012 at 06:56 PM
No, Abby Foster, this is the absolutely perfect reason for a recall. Recall elections are an electoral device in American politics which allow citizens to remove an elected official from office before the end of that person’s term in office. Like initiatives and referendum, recall elections are considered an extension of democracy in that they allow citizens to hold elected officials to account after they have been elected and during their term in office. Ten Thousand registered voters in this community said no to these three officials, none of whom ever told the public of their goal before they were elected/apppointed.

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