Effort Underway to Recall Councilman

6 years 2 months 23 hours ago Monday, October 10 2011 Oct 10, 2011 Monday, October 10, 2011 5:30:00 PM CDT October 10, 2011 in News
By: Dan Greenwald
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COLUMBIA- Some residents are pushing to recall Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley. They are angry over a redistricting plan Dudley proposed.

The plan, called Trial D, is supposed to re-draw city council lines based on the 2010 Census. It's one of four reapportionment plans being considered. Many residents say Trial D does not follow the census but is instead a proposal to keep Dudley's seat safe for re-election.

"This is simply gerrymandering," said fourth ward resident Jeanette Jackson-Thompson. "He received few votes from the area south of Worley Street in the last election so he wants those voters moved to another ward."

The plan motivated Jackson-Thompson to get involved in the recall effort.

"I am not very active in government, I am usually part of the silent majority," Jackson-Thompson said. "I feel that our representative should represent his ward and not try to manuver for his own gain."

The plan would move many residents of the fourth and third ward into the first ward.

Residents of the Benton Stephens neighborhood in the third ward are also concerned. One resident said the plan also helps Councilman Gary Kespohl.

"Kespohl received very little support from this part of the ward," said third ward resident Kip Kendrick. "This form of gerrymandering affects more than one councilman."

Kendrick also said that the Benton Stephens Neighborhood Association is deeply invovled with the recall effort.

KOMU contacted Dudley for an interview but the request was not answered.

The recall requires 1520 registered voters from the fourth ward to sign a petition. The city clerk then has 30 days to validate the signatures. If the city clerk allows the process to continue, a recall initative will appear on the ballot in the next city election. If the recall passes, city council will fill Dudley's seat until a special elction is called to fill his seat.

The city council will vote on a redistricting plan at its meeting next week.

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