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Successful recall would come at a cost to voters

A recall currently in the signature-gathering stage would come at a cost to Lake County’s taxpayers, if it should prove to be successful.

In recent months, chief petitioner Orlando Gonzales filed a petition calling for the recall of Lake County commissioners Brad Winters and Dan Shoun, as well as Lake County Sheriff Phil McDonald.

In the paperwork filed, allegations claiming a lack of fiscal transparency by the commissioners and concerns of public safety by the sheriff served as among the listed grievances.

In the event that the recall effort should collect enough signatures, however, taxpayers will pick up the tab on the cost of putting on a special election, said Lake County Clerk Stacie Geaney.

Geaney noted that the cost of such an election would likely be about $6,000, referencing the cost for the county’s most recent special election which changed commissioner positions to non-partisan status. This election was held late in 2013.

Gonzales must collect a total of 470 valid signatures by a deadline of Monday, May 19, Geaney said, which falls just prior to the Tuesday, May 20, primary election date.

The clerk’s office has 10 days to verify the signatures.  If proven valid, then the candidates for recall are notified and have the option to respond to the allegations or to resign.

Their response to the allegations will be included on the special election ballot, just as the chief petitioner’s allegations were included on the signature sheets for the recall.

A special election would be scheduled somewhere between 30 and 35 days of the five-day response period, Geaney said.  Such an election would likely fall within the month of June, she said.

For more information, contact the Lake County Clerk’s office at 541-947-6006.

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