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Special Recall Election Will Cost Calexico $128,346

-Editorial

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors authorized the Registrar of Voters to conduct the special recall election targeting Raul Urena and Gilberto Manzanarez on April 16 at their regular meeting on Jan. 23. The election, scheduled for April 16, comes with an exorbitant price tag of $128,346 for Calexico.

Calexico residents are expressing frustration and disappointment as Mayor Gloria Romo’s recent vote against consolidating the special recall election on March 5 raises concerns about fiscal responsibility. Despite the opportunity to save the city a substantial amount of money, Romo opted for a later date, raising questions about her priorities and commitment to cost-effective governance.

The decision to delay the election not only prolongs the uncertainty surrounding local leadership but also adds unnecessary financial burdens to the taxpayers. This move by Romo has ignited criticism for what many perceive as a lack of consideration for the community’s best interests and responsible use of public funds.

On November 16, 2023, proponents seeking the recall of Councilmembers Raul Ureña and Gilberto Manzanarez filed two recall petitions with the City of Calexico. On November 29, 2023, at the request of the City of Calexico, the Registrar of Voters (ROV) Office confirmed the number of signatures verified was sufficient to hold a special election for the recall of Councilmembers Ureña and Manzanarez.

The City of Calexico requested the Registrar of Voters conduct a special election to be held on April 16, 2024, for the recall of Councilmembers Manzanarez and Ureña. In addition, it has been requested that the ROV conduct and canvass the election returns.

The following questions will be included in the April 16, 2024 Special Election:

  • Shall Raul Ureña be recalled (removed) from the office of City Councilmember of the City of Calexico?
  • Shall Gilberto Manzanarez be recalled (removed) from the office of City Councilmember of the City of Calexico?

There will be no additional impact on the County General Fund as the City of Calexico will be invoiced for costs associated with this election.

But unlike recent high-profile recall elections such as the California Gubernatorial recall election against Gavin Newsom a few years ago, this local election will not have candidates running to replace them in this special election.

According to Imperial County Registrar of Voters Linsey Dale, according to Elections Code §11382, there shall not be an election for a successor in a recall election for a local officer.  If a majority of the votes on the recall are “YES”, the officer is removed and the office will be vacant until it is filled according to the law.

“In this case, the City of Calexico could either make an appointment, hold another special election for the replacement, or consolidate with the November 5, 2024 General Election. Any successor appointed or elected would serve out the remaining time of the term through December 2026,” Dale said in an e-mail on Jan. 17.

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