Tom Duggan – Sept 2, 2015
Lawrence Police Officer William Green, a candidate for city council, told The Valley Patriot that the affidavit filed with the Lawrence Election Department to recall Mayor Dan Rivera was based on Rivera breaking his campaign promises.
Among the reasons listed on the recall affidavit, Rivera is accused of; political retaliation against city employees, failing to reopen a foot bridge in south Lawrence, failing to reopen fire stations on both Ames Street and Bailey St., breaking campaign promises to appoint a search committee to recommend candidates for the position of chief of police, violating the civil rights of appointed city personnel by terminating them without due process and a fair hearing, and … “the mayor is opposed to the TRUST Act because of his stated intent to use deportation threats as a means to coerce and intimidate members of the community during encounters and interaction with Lawrence Police.”
“ I ran for Mayor to make Lawrence better, because the families in this community work hard every day to raise a family, run a business and build a community trying to improve their quality of life,” Mayor Rivera said in a written statement in response to the recall allegations.
“For years, political infighting, unresponsive and irresponsible government stood in the way. So, for the last 20 months, we have made hard decisions to change the way things are done in Lawrence in order to be more responsible and responsive, and to improve the quality of life, it is what voters of Lawrence elected us to do. We have worked to fight crime, we have disciplined bad employees including bad police officers, we have forced tax cheats to pay their taxes, we have taken hard stances on land use matters, we defended the City against bad contracts and bad leases, and we demand real change in the way our City does business. When you focus on this type of change those interests negatively affected by these actions (bad employees, bad cops, tax cheats, landowners looking to take advantage of the City) will fight back against us and this is how they will do it. They do not want change. We will continue to make those tough decisions that make everyone’s quality of life better. We were elected to do a job, we are focused on doing that job, and we fully plan to see that job through.”
If recall supporters gather enough signatures to put the recall on the ballot, Rivera would have the option to resign, or fight the recall in a special election. If a recall election is held voters will be asked “yes or no” if they want to recall Dan Rivera. Those who vote “yes” on question one will be asked to choose among the candidates who turn in nomination papers to replace him. There is no limit to the number of candidates who can run but with no runoff election, if a large number of candidates run, Rivera’s successor could win with just a handful of votes.