The opponents of the May 1 recall election can’t justify the management failures of the current council. Instead they are urging the public to vote against the recall because they allege it to be a waste of resources…after the city itself caused the cost to double. Let’s talk about that.
Let’s start with a bit of perspective here. The city’s current annual budget started around $415 million. That was before they added another $9 million of spending in February with no offsetting increase in revenue. The cost of this recall is less than what the city typically spends every few hours.
The council only objects to spending money when the purpose is to make them accountable. The City Council members didn’t mind spending $500,000 on expensive lawyers to try to overturn your vote on Measure M.
The first estimate for the cost of the election was only $220,000, but decisions made by the city (not by the recall proponents) inflated the cost to $491,000. The city added $80,000 to the cost by directing the county to validate every single signature on the recall petitions, rather than using the normal process of a mathematically valid statistical sampling. The extra time it took resulted in delaying this election by a month, and it pushed it so close to the date of the primary that the county doesn’t have enough equipment to run both elections. As a result, the city is hiring consultants to run this election, and the cost ballooned because of that.
Finally, the council will never acknowledge the benefits that will come from bringing new leadership to city hall. Sometimes it costs a little money in the short run to fire an insubordinate employee, but it’s worth it. The cost of this recall is just an investment in our future. If we succeed in replacing the council with better managers, there will be many opportunities to save the city much more money than the cost of this election. If we were to keep the existing incompetent crew in office for an additional six months, they will be in charge of spending over $200 million in that time frame.
Fortunately, voters are smart enough to not fall for the council’s specious line of argument, trying to distract us from the issues with red herrings.