The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 10, 2009

City recall effort forges ahead, gaining signatures

ASHTABULA — Concerned Citizens for Progress (CCP), the group aiming to recall four city council members, are well on their way to the required signatures to get their issue in front of the voters, organizers said.

But they’re not wasting any time.

“The recall could be, will probably be, before the May 5 election,” said David Bucci, leader of the CCP. “We’re very excited about it.”

Clipboards and petitions at the ready, Bucci and a cluster of other CCP members put up signs Tuesday afternoon outside Recall Headquarters, directing voters inside the building.

Their plan is to turn in about 900 signatures as soon as possible, and then go to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections, which will certify the signatures and, once certified, set up a special recall election. .

Concerned Citizens for Progress also will be available 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Recall Headquarters, 4148 Main Ave., to guide registered voters as they sign petitions in an effort to remove council vice president Betty Kist, Ward 1 Councilman Joseph Rose, Ward 2 Councilman Bernie Roskovics and Ward 3 Councilwoman Ericka Severino.

Bucci said the first week went very well. The group gathered hundreds of signatures per candidate.

Council members Rodger Altier, Julie Lattimer and James Trisket are not named in the recall movement.

“We feel (Trisket and Lattimer) have some good ideas, but they are not being heard,” Bucci said.

Altier is not being recalled because state law mandates council members must serve one year before they can be recalled, “giving them a fair chance” to serve the public, Bucci said. Altier was appointed in August, following former council president Robert Beacom’s resignation.

In addition to recalling council members, the citizens group is standing behind a host of new candidates: Democrat Gerald Thurston for Ward 1, Republican Tina Stasiewski for vice president/ council-at-large, independent Ann Stranman for Ward 3, and Republican Earl Tucker for the Ward 2 seat.

“We’re asking voters to join our effort to bring positive change and progress to the city by electing these candidates in the special recall election,” Bucci said.

He said the CCP is not affiliated with any political party.

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