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15 minutes of fame over
February 15, 2011 - Jim Smith
The Parkersburg Tea Party recall effort has had its 15 minutes of fame -- and failed to obtain the necessary number of signed-on-the-dotted-line supporters to take the recall of the mayor and five council members to a vote.
The recall supporters gave a laundry list of reasons for its inability to obtain the needed 4,000 signatures and vowed to continue their efforts, taking issue with the city's belief there is a 30-day deadline on achieving the necessary number of signatures.
While I agree there certainly should be a deadline on getting the necessary names on a recall or referendum petition, I have to take issue with city officials on when the time frame begins. The city attorney reportedly believes the 30-day period began when tea party officials asked the city clerk about how to go about setting a recall in motion. That sounds a little too restrictive since anyone can ask anything at anytime of the city clerk.
I would think it takes an overt action related to a recall petition to start that 30-day period, such as when the first person signed the petition. That most definitely would mean there is an overt action afoot, not some mere discussion of a future action.
But, nevertheless, it appears the recall effort is dead. Maybe now the tea party can devote its efforts to constructive purposes. After all, at no time during its recall effort did the tea party offer one alternative to who would sit in the mayor's chair or serve on city council, nor did the tea party offer any alternative revenue source or budget cuts to counter the need for a user fee.
The tea party simply was opposed to the user fee and those who supported it, without offering any solutions.
If the tea party wants to have an impact on city government, it should begin to search for qualified candidates to fill the seats of council members and the mayor, who it opposes for doing what needed to be done.
My guess is there aren't a lot of people out there who want the hassle of being mayor or a city council member, unless they have a personal ax to grind about a specific issue or individual, which makes them little more than a one-tune-Tommy candidate and not worth much support.
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