Amid talk of possible mediation, proponents of the effort to recall St. Helena Mayor Alan Galbraith have submitted their recall petition to the city and are waiting to green light to start gathering signatures.
City Clerk Cindy Tzafopoulos has 10 days – until Monday, Oct. 9 – to determine whether the recall petition meets the standards set by the state election code, which contains specific requirements right down to margins and font size.
Tzafopoulos will notify the proponents of any necessary changes. Every time they submit a modified petition, the 10-day clock starts over.
Once the petition is formatted correctly, the proponents will have 60 days to collect 835 signatures, which equals 25 percent of St. Helena’s 3,337 registered voters.
Several councilmembers have encouraged the proponents and Galbraith to engage in mediation. Six proponents sent the council a letter on Friday saying they are open to mediation, echoing a letter from two proponents that appeared in last week’s Star.
“We are hopeful that our city council will discuss this matter and look for a way that we can work together,” said a statement signed by Tom Belt, Mike Griffin, Anthony Micheli, Kathy Coldiron, Philip Murphy and Todd Miller.
“Asking a well-respected, local citizen skilled in mediation to take on this task might be the first step in the right direction. For the well-being of the community, we’d like to move forward as soon as possible with an open discussion as to how we can get this process started. We look to our city leaders for further suggestions and recommendations.”
In a letter submitted to the Star last Thursday, Galbraith said he’s not willing to mediate the issue of whether he will serve out the remainder of his term, which expires in November 2018.
“If, on the other hand, the concept is to mediate something other than my removal from office, I can only respond after receipt of a detailed mediation proposal from the recall proponents, setting out the issues to be mediated and the parties to be present,” Galbraith wrote in his letter, which appears on the Star’s opinion page.
Anti-recall signs appear
The recall proponents have formed a committee for fundraising purposes but have not reported any campaign donations or expenditures.
No committees have been formed to oppose the recall, but signs have appeared around town saying “No Recall: Let Mayor Galbraith Finish His Term.” Galbraith said he has nothing to do with the signs.
Tzafopoulos said that since no election has been called yet, the signs don’t trigger any of the fundraising regulations that usually apply to political signs. She said she consulted with Planning Director Noah Housh, and they determined that the signs are free speech.