Because the Alameda County Board of Supervisors considers altering their recall procedures, some residents have begun to query whether or not the transfer is an earnest effort to modernize the county constitution or a blatant energy seize.
“This repeal is far, far more intensive than the county is presenting to the general public,” stated Jason Bezis, an legal professional for the Alameda County Taxpayers Affiliation. “It’s overreaching, what they’re attempting to do.”
Questions first arose in October after the county’s lawyer, Donna Ziegler, ready a report highlighting issues with the county’s present recall guidelines for elected and appointed officers. Based on Ziegler, the county’s legal guidelines contained decades-old procedures that had been “a detriment to making sure lawful, competent, and well timed remembers.” Her report really useful that the county undertake the state’s recall language as a substitute.
The transfer rapidly prompted outrage from teams within the midst of pursuing a high-profile recall effort in opposition to Pamela Worth, the reform-minded district legal professional who has been criticized for moral issues and her strategy to sentencing.
However some consider the process change might have far-reaching impacts past the Worth recall marketing campaign.
Based on Bezis, the brand new guidelines would strip the general public of its capability to recall appointed county officers — together with Ziegler herself. That energy, Bezis says, has existed within the constitution because it was adopted in 1926.
In an open letter to the board, the taxpayers affiliation stated the proposed modification would “eviscerate the county’s recall legislation that has been important to holding county bureaucrats straight accountable.” Appointed county officers, typically the highest-paid native authorities workers, are unelected, and underneath present recall procedures they nonetheless in the end reply to the general public.
Beneath the brand new recall guidelines, workers such because the county administrator and the registrar of voters couldn’t be recalled. That is frequent in different jurisdictions.
Though the facility has sometimes — if ever — been employed, the potential for recalling county officers is extra related than ever. Simply final week, a broad coalition of Democratic-aligned teams referred to as for the dismissal of county registrar Tim Dupuis over election integrity issues. They promised additional measures if their calls for are unmet.
“This constitution modification actually is a serious energy seize to guard unelected county bureaucrats,” Bezis stated.
District 3 Supervisor Lena Tam, for her half, stated the changes to recall language was not meant to strip energy from the general public, shield appointed officers or intrude with the Pamela Worth recall effort.
“Our board is saddled with a set of constitution provisions from 97 years in the past which are simply not workable,” stated Tam. “We’re mainly attempting to scrub it up.”
Tam stated the recall process change would assist make clear outdated language. However Tam additionally expressed a willingness to answer constituent issues. On Tuesday, Tam requested to postpone a vote on the recall modification till the county might develop a reality sheet to deal with questions on proposed constitution guidelines.
Tam famous the board of supervisors has taken no place on the hassle to recall Worth, who was elected as district legal professional final yr.
“We will’t clear up an individual’s political viewpoint, however we’re hoping to verify there’s extra readability and dispel a few of the misinformation on the market,” Tam stated.
The board will focus on the modification subsequent on Nov. 14.