Two recall efforts moving forward in Dunsmuir

Ami Ridling

The Dunsmuir Recall Committee members are moving forward with their efforts to seek the recall of Mayor Peter Arth and council member Mario Rubino.

A group of 10 proponents (eight of which are the same proponents organizing the recall for Arth) had Rubino served with a Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition on May 25.

The notice alleges that on several occasions, Rubino has acted unprofessionally, and that he neglected to show interest in community concerns when he voted in favor of the water and wastewater rate increases.

Rubino was given seven days to file a written response to the notice with the county clerk’s office. At that point, the proponents may submit their recall petition to the clerk’s office for approval.

The recall committee members received word last Wednesday from the county clerk’s office that their recall petition for Arth meets legal requirements and has been approved.

The approval kicked off a 40-day period (with a July 6th deadline) for the group to gather signatures from 30 percent of Dunsmuir’s registered voters.

Since Dunsmuir is home to 942 registered voters, the petition will have to be signed by at least 283 of them in order for Arth to be subject to a recall election, said Setzer.

If the group is successful in getting the required number of signatures by the deadline, county clerk Colleen Setzer indicated it is realistic to expect that the recall election could be consolidated with the November General Election.

Nick Mitchell, who is a recall proponent of both Arth and Rubino, said during a recall committee meeting last week that the committee will organize door-to-door petitioner groups, set up signature booths, and hold voter registration drives.

Arth was served with his Notice of Intention to Circulate a Recall Petition last month.

The notice states that it is the proponents’ belief that Arth does not represent the interests of the majority of citizens.  

It alleges that he mismanaged the water and sewer rate increase process and that his proposal to grow marijuana in downtown Dunsmuir does not represent the wishes of the majority of Dunsmuir citizens and is a violation of federal law.

Arth filed a response to the notice with the clerk’s office on May 19.

In it, he states, “I am Mayor because fellow councilors trust me to preside over council meetings. I draw on 33 years of experience as an attorney for the state. I highly value ethics, transparency, and fairness, and do my best for all in our community.”

He further responded that when elected in 2008, few wanted to deal with the neglect of the infrastructure, mismanaged city finances, or the general decline of the downtown and historic districts. “Plans for Dunsmuir’s future consisted of abandoned studies and blueprints gathering dust,” he wrote.

He continues by pointing out that enforcement remedies are now in place to control absentee landlords who let their buildings rot, and plans to paint the library and fire station are underway. He notes that the city must replace the aging water and sewer systems, guided by the citizen’s task force.

“I agree with the need for dignity, honesty, and sensitivity to community needs,” Arth writes in his final statement. “I hope the recall committee will join me to bring an end to the ‘blood politics’ that some cling to for personal amusement.”