City secretary explains Hernandez petition process

Published: May. 7, 2013 at 10:40 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 10:15 PM CST
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City Secretary Becky Garza sat down with us to explain the process.
City Secretary Becky Garza sat down with us to explain the process.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - City Secretary Becky Garza sat down with KCBD on Tuesday and explained the steps that are required to recall a city council member.

She said this current petition to recall District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez began when four people initiated the process with the city secretary's office. That initiates a 30-day time period in which to get the required signatures, which makes the deadline for this petition Tuesday, May 28.

"They need 448 signatures, and out of the signatures they collect 10 percent have to verify that they voted for the council member in the last election," Garza said.

That 448 number is 30 percent of the people who voted in District 1 in the last election. Garza says 10 percent of the people have to say yes, so naturally, the number of votes required changes based on the number of signatures they collect. For example, if they get 1,000 signatures, 100 people have to have voted for Hernandez.

After the signatures are collected and submitted to the City Secretary's office, the next stage of the process begins.

"We're going to have people that are going to check it. Then somebody else comes and checks anybody we disqualify. Then I'll come in and my deputy will come in and we'll do a third check on all disqualifications," Garza said.

The first three people who look over the names are recommended from the county elections administrator, followed by people in the city secretary's office and finally the city secretary and her deputy.

This isn't the first recall petition that Garza has been part of. Back in 2007, three recall petitions were submitted to get District 1 Councilwoman Linda DeLeon out of office. The people who began the petition claimed they had enough signatures, but Garza says they fell short.

"They got close in getting the numbers they needed, they just didn't get there in the end. They just had too many people that signed the petition that were not registered voters," she said.

If the petition is approved Garza says Councilman Hernandez will have five days to resign or it will be brought before council and they will call a recall election for November. That election would decide if Hernandez stays in office. If he leaves, another election would be held in May 2014 to vote for his replacement.

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