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Hughson City Council recall petitions filed

POSTED March 30, 2010 10:16 p.m.
Three months after the Civil Grand Jury found three Hughson City Council members in violation of the Brown Act, the Fair Political Practices Commission Code and the Hughson Municipal Code, residents of Hughson filed a petition for recall with over 1,000 signatures.
“I believe that the voters of Hughson are the best choice to put their own government in order,” said Pete Glen, member of the Citizens for Better City Government, the organization spearheading the recall petition. “By sending the question of recall to the ballot, the voters will be the final jury and I believe that our case will win a strong majority of Hughson voters.”
After the Citizens for Better City Government’s petition was approved by the City Clerk to begin circulation, a group of about 43 volunteers flooded the streets of Hughson to gather signatures for the removal of council members Thom Crowder, Ben Manley and Doug Humphreys.
The group, Citizens for Better City Government, announced their efforts to begin a recall election at the Feb. 8 Hughson City Council meeting.
One of the first steps in the recall process was to start a petition for recall of Crowder, Humphreys and Manley, individually. At least 753 certified signatures from registered voters of Hughson are required, said Candice Steelman, member of the Citizens for Better City Government.
Over a period of 72 hours, each petition for Crowder, Humphreys and Manley received over 1,000 signatures, according to a statement released by the group. The reported number of signatures collected totals about one-third of all registered voters in Hughson. The petitions have been filed and it could take up to 30 days for the petitions to be examined for signature validity and petition consistency.
During this process, the City of Hughson will also need to find three other residents that will be willing to replace Crowder, Humphreys and Manley if the recall process continues, Steelman said. As of Monday, there have been four people who have expressed interest in running for the three potential seats.  
The Citizens for Better City Government feel like they could have received more signatures but were nervous about anti-recall efforts and counter recall efforts that were apparent Sunday afternoon, so they filed their petition early Monday morning.
“There were reports that individuals representing the three council members in question were circulating petitions to get people to remove their signatures from the recall petitions,” said Peter Sugia, member of the Citizens for Better City Government.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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