Atascadero councilman opposes recall of colleagues

Saying it would distract the community from more important issues, Atascadero City Councilman Tom O’Malley formally came out against plans to recall two of his colleagues.

Longtime residents Ray Buban and Mike Jackson announced May 8 that Mayor Pro Tem Mike Brennler and Councilwoman Ellen Beraud have helped foster a climate hostile to business during less than five months in office.

Brennler and Beraud were elected following a bitter campaign that pitted environmental and other slow-growth groups against advocates of greater commercial development.

That philosophy, Jackson told The Tribune earlier this month, was one of several “very large moves to impose socialism on our town.”

But O’Malley, often considered an ally of local business, said a recall would keep the council from addressing more important financial challenges.

“I am concerned that the current recall effort will distract our community and our council from this important work,” he said in a written statement. “Though I agree that a recall is a right of our citizens and understand there are many frustrations in our community from many perspectives, I have asked the proponents of the recall to carefully consider this action.”

Buban and Jackson have since compiled 22 signatures necessary to launch the effort. They must still find about 3,000 additional supporters before the matter can come before voters.

-- Stephen Curran