Efforts to recall Simonelli pose questions about recall protocol

Steven Simonelli, City Councilor

By Josh Resnek

Efforts by politically inspired activists given impetus by Councilor Steven Simonelli’s racially provocative social media statement are apparently planning a recall of the popular and durable longtime city councilor.

Planning a recall and pulling one off are two entirely different efforts.

What exactly is the protocol for a recall?

It is set out in section 8-5 of the Everett City Charter under the title, “Citizen Participation Mechanisms.”

A recall is what it sounds like, an effort to unseat a politician already in office because grievances have arisen about his leadership or the lack of it.

A recall petition must be initiated by the filing with the city clerk of an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for the recall with the affidavit signed by at least 250 certified registered Everett voters.

Those seeking the recall then have 28 days to gather 20% of the voters in the city to sign the recall petition and for the affidavit to be filed.

The city clerk then presents the petition to the registrars of voters who shall, within 5 days, be required to certify the signatures. If the signatures are certified and in order, the city clerk presents the petition for recall to the city council.

If the city councilor fails or refuses to resign within 5 days, an order for an election will be issued by the city clerk on a date not less than 64 days and not more than 90 days after the filing of the petition.

If a city election is to be held within 150 days after the date of the certificate the city hall is required to postpone the recall election until the election that is being held.

In the case of Councilor Simonelli, the 150 day requirement does not apply at this time providing those allegedly planning for his recall act expeditiously.

If Councilor Simonelli is recalled, he remains a councilor until the recall election.

If the recall election fails, he remains a councilor until the end of his term.
If the recall succeeds, Councilor Simonelli loses his position.

That vacancy will be filled according to Articles 2,3 and 4 of the charter.
This provides for the council by a majority. vote to appoint a qualified individual to fill the vacancy until the next municipal election.

If the council can’t agree after 30 days,  the mayor may make the appointment from among those nominated by the council.

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