CHICO — As the Chico City Council called a recess Tuesday night in the midst of discussing denied dispensary applications and appeals, a man quickly made his way down the aisle and laid a small stack of papers on the desk in front of Mayor Andrew Coolidge.
The papers were recall documents.
A new political group dubbing itself Chico Voters initiated a recall Tuesday night in an effort to remove the mayor from his seat on the Chico City Council.
The group issued a press release Tuesday evening claiming Coolidge violated his oath to uphold the Constitution.
“Mr. Coolidge ran on a platform of public safety and sound fiscal policy,” the release said. “His failure to embrace common sense guidance, adhere to norms of transparent governance and listen to the will of the people has resulted in a community that is worse off than when he swore that oath.”
Coolidge responded to the recall effort with his own press release issued the same night naming individuals he believes to be behind it, specifically Angela McLaughlin and Jessica MacKenzie.
“Like (Gov. Gavin) Newsom said, political extremists are ‘weaponizing’ the recall in an attempt to overturn the fair results of a recent election,” Coolidge said. “The very same is being done here by McLaughlin and MacKenzie as they seek to advance their extremist agendas within the city.”
The release from Coolidge’s camp went on to say the recall could cost up to $300,000.
In addition to the release, the group will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday during which there will be a reading of the petition at the City Plaza, or at least the fence surrounding it.
“This fence prevents residents from enjoying one of Chico’s most vital local landmarks and community gathering places,” the statement from Chico Voters said. “The fence also demonstrates the fiscally irresponsible decision to create an ice rink during a drought. Furthermore, the ice rink undermines the recovery of the town of Paradise, whose own ice rink is a customary outing for many Chico families.”
Coolidge’s statement read that he planned to combat the recall while defending his time as mayor.
“I am here to serve the people of Chico,” Coolidge said. “My only goal is to continue to make Chico a better place to live and safer for our students. I won’t do that by trying to promote myself to some kind of false local fame. I am extremely proud, not only of this council but also of the city staff for their efforts towards this goal.”
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