The signatures of a petition to recall Electra Mayor Pam Ward were verified at a city hall meeting on Tuesday night.
Electra voters will decide whether or not to remove Mayor Ward and two other commissioners from office in a May ballot. She has the option of stepping down, rather than face recall, but said resigning is not an option. The May recall would be for her current term, which is also up in May. The city administrator said the petition for Mayor Ward had 163 verified signatures and all were verified by the city clerk. Only one hundred signatures were required.
“I really have no feelings about it,” Electra Mayor Pam Ward said. “It’s like firing somebody after they already quit. After they have moved on to another job. It’s a moot point. They are just proving the point that they were mad then and they are still mad.”
Residents who organized these petitions were upset over the firing of former Police Chief Michael Hopkins. Another controversial action concerned cuts and layoffs of city personnel.
Commissioners said they were forced to make those changes after looking at the budget.
Petitioners also filed signatures for the recall of two commissioners: Kevin Byrd and Ricky Kelley. Those petitions were verified in a previous meeting. However, unlike ward, Byrd and Kelley were elected to terms that run until May 2017.
“We’re gonna continue,” Electra City Commissioner Ricky Kelley said. “I’m gonna continue up to May… Irregardless. If I get past May, I’m gonna keep striving on. There’s still a lot of plans being made.”
Electra’s city administrator said since the recall election will take place at the time of the regular municipal election, then it will cost about $700 to add those items to the ballot. Mayor Ward still has the option to run again in May, even if she is recalled, because the recall only applies to her current term.