The recall effort against Payson Mayor Tom Morrisey and Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner, Jim Ferris, Steve Smith, Barbara Underwood and Chris Higgins have all failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures or collecting them. The issue was over votes to fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.
This long running saga came about after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the recall attempt against Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey needs more signatures than previously thought, resulting in the recall now being off the ballot.
Petitioners handed in 974 signatures, 821 valids, and thought they needed 770. The Judge ruled that they need 1225.
The issue is based on the fact that Payson mayors have been effectively elected in the primary race for the last 17 years. The general election date will only take place if there was a runoff from the primary race.. The recall law requires 25% of turnout at the last election for that office. Morrissey claims that they should use the primary race. We should be seeing a written opinion on this.
Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get the other three recalls on the ballot. Petitioners claimed they had over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakia ans a separate campaign against Steve Smith claimed that they had 1700 signatures.