BY DALE HOGG
Inquiries have been made into filing petitions to recall Great Bend City Council members Joel Jackson and Vicki Berryman, County Clerk Donna Zimmerman said Wednesday afternoon.
But, she said, this was only a preliminary interest. Zimmerman gave those asking a blank form and instructed them on the procedure for filing such a petition.
According to Zimmerman, only council members with at least 180 days left in their terms can be recalled. This includes only Great Bend council members who were elected in 2016 since those elected in 2017 are up for reelection this fall and take office in January so they don’t meet that time requirement.
In other words, those eligible for recall include: Berryman from the First Ward, Jackson from the Second Ward, Cory Zimmerman from the Third Ward and Brock McPherson from the Fourth Ward.
The other council members include Mike Boys representing the First Ward, Wayne Henneke in the Second Ward, Allene Owen in the Third Ward, and Dana Dawson in the Fourth Ward.
There has to be a separate petition for each council seat, but the person circulating the petition doesn’t have to live in ward in question.
The next steps include writing a 200-word-or-less rational for the petition, the selection of a three-member petition committee (these members must live in the ward and sign he document), and return it to Zimmerman.
Zimmerman will then turn it over to County Attorney Amy Mellor who has five days to determine if there are sufficient grounds for a petition. Mellor has been put on alert that this may happen.
If it meets muster, Zimmerman said it can be circulated. Those leading the effort then have 90 days to get the valid signatures of 40 percent of each ward’s voters who cast ballots in the last city council election for that particular council member.
A changing of the guard
Come the Nov. 7 general election, the complexion of the government will change. The mayor’s position and four council positions will be on the ballot. Those who filed by the June 1 deadline are:
• Mayor: (Mike Allison is not seeking re-election) – Brock McPherson, Allene Owen and Joe Andrasek.
• Council Ward 1: (Seat currently held by Mike Boys) Dan Heath and Mike Boys.
• Council Ward 2: (Seat currently held by Wayne Henneke, who is not running) Rachel E. Mawhirter, Matt Suchy and Jolene Biggs.
• Council Ward 3: (Seat currently held by Allene Owen who is running for mayor) Stacy Dougherty, Thomas Boor and Cory Urban.
• Council Ward 4: (Seat currently held by Dana Dawson, who is not running) Andrew Scott Erb.
According to the city’s website, the governing body is made up of the mayor, who is elected by the city at large, and eight council members, two elected from each ward of the city. All serve two-year terms. Only one council member from each ward is elected at a time.