A group of Morro Bay residents has launched an official effort to recall Mayor Jamie Irons over his handling of city business.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was the attempt by the mayor to terminate the city manager and city attorney,” said William Peirce, the Morro Bay resident and former City Council member who delivered a copy of the “Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition” to Irons at the Tuesday City Council meeting.
Irons defended his actions concerning City Attorney Robert Schulz and City Manager Andrea Lueker and said he hoped residents would trust him.
“I don't know why I'm being recalled, to be honest,” Irons said. “I requested outside legal counsel to guide the city council through this (personnel) process. I was elected mayor because people trusted me, and I am asking them to trust me through this process. Regardless of the outcome of the recall, I believe I am doing what is right for the city.”
The recall notice was signed by 30 Morro Bay residents and certified by the city clerk’s office earlier that day.
The notice lists the following allegations about Irons’ performance: that he negated eight years of work by withdrawing the wastewater treatment plant from Coastal Commission Review; that he acted precipitously to dismiss the city manager and city attorney without regard for the city’s operation, finances or morale; that he attempted to take actions without the knowledge of the entire council; that he attempted to edit staff reports after presentation to the council; and that he reversed campaign promises by raising building fees and supporting tax increases.
“Jamie Irons consistently puts his own agenda and interests ahead of his constituents and fellow council members. His disregard for the welfare of Morro Bay and its citizens must not continue. He should be recalled,” the document says.
Peirce said that, although he delivered the papers to Irons, there is no leader of the recall group.
“This is not really an organized group. It’s something that spontaneously happened,” Peirce said, adding that 130 people have expressed an interest in supporting the effort to gather necessary petition signatures.
Irons has a week to respond in writing to the grounds for recall alleged in the notice.
In order for a recall to be placed on the ballot, the recall organizers must now gather petition signatures from 25 percent of the city’s registered voters.
With approximately 7,015 registered voters in February of 2013, according to unofficial numbers shared by city clerk Jamie Boucher, about 1,700 signatures would be necessary to prompt a recall vote.