An effort is afoot to recall Del Norte County Supervisors Roger Gitlin and Bob Berkowitz and demand a successor to their offices.
According to a notice of intention to recall petition, supervisors are to be non-partisan and solve problems for the community at large.
“We count on our local representatives to cooperate and compromise on divisive issues, rather than waging war on each other,” the notice reads. “Partisan politics has no place in local government, only positive solutions can lift our community.”
The main proponent of the recall is Jesse Davis, former chair of the county’s Cannabis Working Group, which meets regularly to come up with draft ordinances for future commercial cannabis regulation in the county. Davis said he made the calls and started the process himself. He said publication of the official intent to circulate petition will appear in Thursday’s Triplicate.
“I paid for the ad and got the receipt,” he said, “and we have a whole team of people ready to get out and collect signatures.”
Davis said that until recently, he had only studied national politics, but through his local work with elected officials, began to learn about policy creation at a local level.
“I started to see there’s not a lot of room for partisan politics,” he said. “From watching and working with them (Berkowitz and Gitlin) for this long, and having engaged with them, I get the taste that they are not oriented around policy creation, but partisan politics and it’s counter-productive.”
Contacted Monday evening, Berkowitz said he would be unable to comment on the petition until he has read it. Gitlin said the same, noting he was unaware of the effort as of Monday night.
County Clerk/ Recorder Alissia Northrup said Monday she had received the necessary paperwork to start the process. However, as of yet, the petition has not been officially filed with the county.
As required, proponents of the recall have provided proof that an attempt to serve the two supervisors by certified mail has been made, she said, and that notification was expected to arrive today.
The next requirement is a notice of intent to circulate a recall petition be published by the newspaper of record in the area, and proof of that publication provided before filing with the county.
“As long as the petition is approved, they can start to gather signatures,” Northrup said.
For the petition to be successful and result in a recall election, it will need the signatures of 25 percent of each district’s voters. In District 1 — Gitlin’s district — 580 of 2,321 voter’s signatures will be required. In Berkowitz’s district — District 5 — it will require 756 of 3,022 voters’ signatures.
Northrup said if the signature collection is successful, it would then create the opportunity for people to run for the supervisor’s seats in those districts.
Ballots would then ask voters if they support the recall, and if so, who is their choice of replacement.
As for the last primary election June 5, Northrup said a few provisional and mail-in ballots need to be counted, but there are not enough to make a difference in any of the elections.
With that, Supervisors Gerry Hemmingsen and Chris Howard will retain their seats.
A final report will be issued later this week, she said.