How to Recall a City Mayor

by Culture & Society Editor
In 2005, then-Spokane, Washington councilman Dennis Hession was appointed mayor after his predecessor was recalled from office.

In 2005, then-Spokane, Washington councilman Dennis Hession was appointed mayor after his predecessor was recalled from office.

A bad mayor can have a large influence on a city within a very short amount of time. When a city population bands together, it can recall a mayor who is found to be corrupt, incompetent or unfit to lead. The trend of recalling wayward mayors in the US has been steady since the 1950s. If you are looking to recall your city mayor, follow these steps to get started.

Find out about laws and regulations that govern recall in your city. The regulations related to mayoral recall procedures and regulations differ from city to city. You can find the details about how to proceed with a mayoral recall in your city's municipal code, which is available through most city agencies and public law libraries.

Start a movement. The only real chance you'll have at recalling a mayor is by getting a group of dedicated and determined people together to battle for the recall. Most recall and recall attempts begin with at least a few politicians who oppose the mayor. However, you can keep the movement apolitical by involving local social and community leaders instead of politicians.

Collect signatures for a petition. Each city has different requirements for the number of signatures needed to recall a mayor. Find out the number of signatures and the requirements related to signature authenticity and start a well organized signature drive to validate the petition. Make sure that each signature is authentic before you submit your petition to the city council.

Use the media to help. Local media is generally very hungry for politically interesting stories, such as mayoral recalls. Get your local media involved so you can spread the message about the recall and enlist others to help with the cause. Also, gaining media favor on the recall issue will help place pressure on city council members to approve the recall of the mayor.

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