CAMP VERDE - Just days after being named the Town of Camp Verde's new vice mayor, Bruce George is the only council member with the possibility of being recalled.
Recall petitions submitted by Camp Verde resident and chairman of Camp Verde for Good Government's Cheri Wischmeyer were verified by the Yavapai County Recorder, and the signed petitions to recall council members Robin Whatley and Jessie Jones do not have enough signatures to be valid.
With only council member - himself - who could still be recalled, George says he hopes Wischmeyer's main concern is the residents of Camp Verde.
"I am hoping that with the best interests of the people of Camp Verde in mind and considering the cost and the fact that in 10 months we will have a real election anyway, she would decide to cancel this recall." George said
Officially, Wischmeyer and recall supporters were able to collect 335 signatures to recall George, but were only able to collect 322 valid signatures to recall council member Jones, and 325 valid signatures for the recall of council member Whatley.
Wischmeyer said that she was pleased that she were successful with collecting the signatures necessary for Vice-Mayor George, but was disappointed with the work from Town Clerk Virginia Jones.
"I believe that she went beyond the scope of her authority to remove signatures," Wischmeyer said. "I am so disappointed in Virginia that she would overstep her boundaries."
In an attempt to challenge the final results of the recall petition for Whatley, Wischmeyer said she did everything possible to challenge the county's decision.
"We talked to the attorney general, who referred us to the county attorney, who then referred us back to the attorney general," Wischmeyer said. "We did everything we could. I don't think we did badly. I think we were set-up for failure."
Virginia Jones who has served as Town Clerk since the retirement of former Town clerk and now-treasurer of Camp Verde for Good Government's Debbie Barber, says the reasons she removed the in question signatures were valid.
"I followed the directions in the election manual. And I read the ARS statues a lot. I am very comfortable with the reasons that I removed the names I removed." Virginia Jones said.
Town Manager Russ Martin says that this situation shows how professional the Town has been with the group's recall efforts.
"I think this documents how professional this organization has been," Martin said. "It is critical that we protect the rights not only of the petitioners, but also those who are being petitioned against."
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- Despite public support of Vice Mayor Bruce George, Camp Verde Town Council announces special recall election for Nov. 3