The Arizona Supreme Court has 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.
There are also recall attempts against Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris over their votes to fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.
Opponents of the recall are claiming that the non-recall facing councilmembers "voted against God, out taxpayers at risk in supporting a $43 million prep school project and are trying to bring Chinese and Canadian immigrant students to town to claim taxpayer-funded benefits." Morrisey has said he has nothing to do with the flyer.
In addition, Councilman Steve Smith is now facing petitions over claims that he causes discord at meetings.
Smith was appointed to the seat in a controversial move -- the appointment in between the election for the rest of the council and their inauguration, so there was debate over who should have made the appointment. Smith has since opposed Morrissey and other council members, including filing open meeting violations claims.
Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get the other three recalls on the ballot. Petitioners claimed they have over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakia.