The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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June 2, 2009

‘Bula City Council recall one step closer

Petitions turned into the Board of Elections

JEFFERSON — Concerned Citizens for Progress submitted petitions Tuesday to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections for the recall of four Ashtabula City Council members.

Spokesman for the group, David Bucci, turned in the petitions which contained the following:

n 229 signatures to remove Ward 1 Councilman Joseph Rose;

n 152 signatures to remove Ward 2 Councilman Bernie Roskovics;

n 84 signatures to remove Ward 3 Councilwoman Ericka Severino; and

n 655 signatures to remove Vice President Betty Kist.

According to the Ohio Revised Code, the number of signatures required to be submitted for recall is based on 15 percent of the qualified electors who voted in the most recent municipal election. In this instance, the most recent municipal election was in 2007.

Concerned Citizens for Progress requested and received the count for the number of signatures required, from the Ashtabula County Board of Elections.

“Our part of the process is done,” Bucci said. “Now, it’s up to the Board of Elections.”

Richard Hornstein, Board of Elections director, anticipates it will take four to five days to certify the signatures. Upon certification of the signatures by the Board of Elections, the four council members will have five days to resign their positions. If they resign, the political party holding the council seat has the authority to appoint a replacement. If they do not resign, City Council must set a special election date within 30 to 40 days after certification of the signatures.

Hornstein estimates the special election will cost about $27,000, and per the Ohio Revised Code, the city will be responsible for the cost, just as it is with every municipal election.

City Auditor Michael Zullo said he’s not sure of the ramifications.

“I never have been through a recall election, but I am sure the cost is substantial,” he said. “This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the city (financially).”

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