The bill establishes procedures to govern the recall of a director of a special district.
Section 4 of the bill requires the court as defined for the special district to appoint a designated election official (DEO) to oversee the recall election. The director and the director's spouse or civil union partner cannot serve as the DEO.
The bill requires that recall petitions must be approved as to form by the DEO before being circulated. To be approved, a petition must designate a committee to represent the signers, must name only one director, and must include a brief statement of the grounds for the recall. It must also provide certain warnings to electors concerning their eligibility to sign.
Section 5 requires that signed petitions be filed with the DEO within 60 days after their form has been approved. Signed petitions must include a signed and notarized affidavit from the circulator attesting to the circulator's compliance with the requirements of the law. Once a signed petition is filed, the DEO is required to review the petition and issue a written determination that the petition is sufficient or not sufficient within 5 business days, unless a protest is filed before that date.
An eligible elector may file a protest of a recall petition within 15 days after a petition is filed. In the case of a protest, a hearing is required and the DEO is the hearing officer. The hearing officer is required to issue a determination that the petition is sufficient or not sufficient within 15 days after the conclusion of the hearing.
If a petition is determined not sufficient, the committee representing the electors may withdraw, amend, and refile it within 15 days. A petition can only be withdrawn and refiled once.
A determination that a petition is sufficient or not sufficient is subject to judicial review on request by the director, the director's representative, or a majority of the committee representing the electors, but judicial review cannot include the statement of the grounds on which the recall is sought.
If a petition is determined sufficient, the board of the special district must set a date for the recall election, and determine whether the election will take place at the polling place or by mail ballot. If a regular special district election is to be held within 180 days after the date on which the board orders the recall election, the recall election must be held as part of the regular election. If the director is seeking reelection at that regular election, only the question of his or her reelection appears on the ballot. If the director's successor is to be chosen at that regular election, and the director is not seeking reelection, only the selection of the successor appears on the ballot. The recall election may also be held as part of a coordinated election if the information required for the ballot is determined within the deadline, and the county clerk and recorder agrees.
Section 6 provides that if the director resigns in writing prior to the election, the recall proceedings are terminated and the office is filled as a vacancy. The ballot for a recall election must include the statement of grounds for the recall that was included in the petition. The director may file a statement in support of his or her retention, which must also be included on the ballot if it is timely filed. The ballot must also include the names of candidates nominated to fill the office if the director is recalled.
If an incumbent is not recalled, or if a recall petition is deemed not sufficient, section 7 authorizes the special district to reimburse the director for reasonable expenses. Under section 10 , the special district must pay the costs of the county clerk and recorder and the DEO for the recall election.
Section 8 provides that after one recall election that does not recall the director, any subsequent recall petition must be signed by more than 50% of the eligible electors to be sufficient. Section 11 makes a conforming amendment to the 'Uniform Election Code of 1992'.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)