Weatherford Democrat

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May 24, 2012

City won’t accept recall petitions

WEATHERFORD —  

In a letter sent Wednesday, the Weatherford City Secretary notified a recently defeated city council candidate that the city will not accept petitions for recall election of two re-elected council members.

Tawni Maughan, who ran against Mayor Pro Tem Waymon Hamilton in 2008 and 2012 and was defeated with 420 votes to Hamilton’s 853 votes May 12, was issued two petitions seeking a recall election for the re-elected Hamilton and Craig Swancy Tuesday around noon, City Secretary Malinda Nowell confirmed. 

Maughan declined to comment Tuesday. 

The term of office under which Maughan requested the petitions for recall expired hours later Tuesday night when the votes were officially canvassed, according to Nowell.

“The term of office for Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Swancy, for which you filed affidavits of recall, has now officially expired,” Nowell’s letter to Maughan reads. “As such, I will be unable to accept any petitions for recall with regard to the May 8, 2010 Election, due to the expiration of those terms.”

The earliest time that Maughan could file recall petitions regarding the most recent election would be Nov. 13, the letter stated. 

The last recall election held in Weatherford, petitioned for in September 2008 and held during the municipal election in May 2009, resulted in two incumbents losing the vote.  

The petitions must be returned within 30 days with enough valid signatures for a recall election to be ordered, according to city code. 

Article IV of the city’s code of ordinances requires a petition to contain signatures from qualified voters totaling 35 percent of the number of people who voted in the last regular municipal election. 

Nowell said the city had 1,318 voters in the May election. 

At least 10 percent of those signing the petition must certify that they voted for the council members proposed to be recalled, according to the city code. 

“It’s obvious that they have some issues,” Craig Swancy said of those pursuing a recall election. “I pray that they find the answer to those issues.”

Swancy defeated challengers Joan Stokes and Darwin Yeary with 877 votes to their 290 and 98 votes, respectively. 

“They are just wasting taxpayer’s money and city staff’s time,” Swancy added. 

Hamilton did not return a voicemail before deadline seeking comment.

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