Recall petitions for ?ve city council members turned in to Kent city clerk

Kristen Kotz

Five petitions asking for the removal of five city council members were submitted Monday to City Clerk Linda Copley, continuing the recall efforts.

These petitions include signatures for the recall of at-large council members Rick Hawksley and Michael DeLeone, Ward 2 Councilman Jack Amrhein, Ward 5 Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer and Ward 6 Councilwoman Tracy Wallach.

The recall efforts started last month after council voted to place a .5 percent reduction in the income for those working outside the city. Shortly thereafter petitioners began collecting signatures to remove seven of nine city councilmen.

A special session of council took place Oct. 9, and members changed their initial ruling and decided to keep the income tax credit at 100 percent.

Because of this, Shaffer said she thought the reason for the recall effort had been addressed.

“That was the issue I thought was contentious,” Shaffer said. “I am surprised it has gone


Kent resident John Bard has circulated petitions to recall Amerhein and the two at-large councilmen from office and said not enough signatures had been gathered for the petitions to recall Ward 1 Councilman Garret Ferrara and Ward 3 Councilman Wayne Wilson. The petitions need to be signed by 20 percent of the people who voted in the council member’s ward during the previous election.

“I think there will be a recall election, but I don’t know if anyone will be recalled,” Bard said.

According to the Kent City Charter, the city clerk’s office and the Portage County Board of elections have 10 days to certify the signatures on these petitions. If the city clerk finds any problems with the signatures, she must indicate exactly what they are, deliver a copy to the person who filed it and record the delivery.

If the council member whose removal is sought does not resign within five days after the final delivery, the council must fix a date to hold the recall election. The date must be within 60 to 75 days after the delivery occurred.

Shaffer said she got a call at 4 p.m. Monday from the city clerk that said a petition asking for her removal from office was turned in. She added that she was surprised the recall efforts have gone this far and added she thinks such efforts are an abuse of the democratic process.

“The recall is used to protect people from extreme incompetence.” she said. “It is not there to be use as a pool to wield power over people who have been elected fairly and squarely and are doing their jobs.”

Shaffer said she has received calls from people in her ward during the recall efforts. She also added she plans to call the people who signed the petition to address their concerns. She said she is worried about the extra stress a recall could place on council members, but does not think a recall will occur.

“Am I worried I am going to be recalled? No, I don’t think so,” Shaffer said.

Contact public affairs reporter Kristen Kotz at [email protected].