The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee is back and ready for round two.
After having more than 6,000 signatures invalidated by the Glendale City Clerk in December, the committee went to City Hall Feb. 20 and received its petition serial number.
“Right now, we are doubling our efforts for this recall,” said Anna Lee, chairperson of the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee. “There were thousands of people that signed those petitions in December that have had their voices silenced on a technicality.”
The group turned in 398 petition sheets in December and leaders estimated it had more than 6,000 signatures. They need 2,752 valid signatures from registered district voters to force an election.
The group has until June 20 to submit the required signatures to the city clerk to get the item placed on the ballot.
In April 2014, the Arizona Legislature voted to change the petitions by adding two boxes at the top of them that identify whether they were “paid circulator” or “volunteer circulator.”
Lee and her group picked up their petitions Aug. 21 and the new templates were not available until October.
“We were just told that they did not comply with the law,” Lee said. “It was just a simple change that invalidated our petitions.”
Asked if they considered a lawsuit to try and validate their petitions, Lee said it was discussed.
“We had to make a decision, but yes, we looked into it,” Lee said. “It would have been very expensive and we just decided that we could be successful in gathering signatures again and do it the right way.”
The group said the invalidation of the first attempt has actually helped them get more organized and has addressed numerous issues they had.
“We are a grass-root organization and the fact that thousands of people who signed those have had their voices silenced,” Lee said. “First of all, that should have been a message to Mr. Sherwood, but their voices were silenced by the invalidation and we are not going to allow that.”
The group, during the first recall attempt, claimed Sherwood’s flip-flopping on numerous issues was a main reason for the recall attempt. Now, recall leaders said their group continues to gather more and more issues that people have addressed for a recall attempt.
“First off, there was his interaction with (former city manager Brenda) Fischer, who is now gone,” said Connie Kiser, a member of the recall committee. “Mr. Sherwood’s arrogance and total disregard for the Sahuaro district and the fact that he is nothing more than a puppet for outside interests.”
The group cited Sherwood’s stance on the billboards, light rail, the casino and several investigations by the Attorney General as issues for why they are beginning a recall attempt.
“It is part of the arrogance that he doesn’t see he is upsetting his constituents and ignoring them,” Kiser said. “It is like it is over his head with the billboard issue, no from planning commission, no by council, but he still wanted to bring it back for a re-vote? I don’t know why, it’s like he can’t take no for an answer.”
If the recall group gathers enough valid signatures, it would be the first Glendale recall election in her 20 years in office, said City Clerk Pam Hanna, adding that she is unaware of any previous recalls.