published Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Recall of officials a bad idea

We always hope all of the public officials we elect — from president on down — will perform well, pleasing us in all of their policies and actions, serving us with “good results.”

But it is not likely that even our “favorite” elected officials will please us on every issue all of the time.

We have the right of free speech to tell them whether we approve or not.

But unless a public official unfortunately engages in some illegal, immoral or other reprehensible action — not just disagrees with us on some issue — it is best to wait until the next election to vote him out of office or retain him, as we prefer.

That helps provide stable, orderly and economical elected government, with an opportunity for any desired change at regular intervals.

It is unfortunate that some Chattanooga voters currently have become displeased enough with some city officials to seek enough signatures on petitions to “recall” Mayor Ron Littlefield, Councilman Jack Benson and Councilman Manny Rico, remove them from office before the end of their elected terms, and have replacement elections.

To require a recall election, a petition with roughly 9,000 verified signatures would be needed in the case of Littlefield, about 750 signatures concerning Benson, and about 450 signatures concerning Rico. (The variations involve the number of votes the officials received in their last election.)

If sufficient signatures are obtained by dissatisfied voters, recall elections would be scheduled and qualified voters would decide whether to retain or reject the questioned officials.

We do not believe there are sufficient objections in any of these cases to justify the expense to taxpayers and the potential disruption of having recall votes.

Whether our citizens approve or disapprove some of these officials’ actions, all of these officials are honorable gentlemen who are seeking to serve according to their best judgment.

We believe it would be much better to allow all of our Chattanooga officials to serve out the terms to which they have been elected, and then for our citizens to decide in the next regular election whether to retain or replace them.

We do not recommend any recall under these circumstances.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Allison12 said...

The power of the press, abused again. The anti investigative newspaper famous for ingorning public corruption, is again trying to control political outcomes and protect friends in office. Interesting that the TFP would deem the Recall Three as honorable gentlemen, and at the same time, refuse to investigation thes allegations setforth by these organizations. TFP is fluffy and special interest journalism.

August 19, 2010 at 7:38 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

It seems to me that Littlefield's actions qualify as reprehensible. Anyone that would even consider a tax increase of that magnitude is clearly out of touch with their role as stewards of taxpayer's money. It's the spending STUPID! Too bad they will not let how the money is being spent see the light of day. There would be no need for this debate.

August 19, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.
princehal said...

Not a very compelling argument/defense, Mr. Editorialist.

Try again.

August 19, 2010 at 4:24 p.m.
JustinThyme said...

Failing to release documents that state law requires be released shows a blatant disrespect for the law. I think that is enough to justify a recall. I would think that a publication meant to serve the community as a conduit to such information as that which is being withheld you would agree with this statement.

August 21, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.