Mayors of Chattanooga are elected to four-year terms, with a limit of two consecutive terms.
Mayor Ron Littlefield has been elected by our people twice consecutively, so he will not be in the next regular election, on March 2, 2013.
Public officials naturally have both supporters and critics. But there having been no action by the mayor so serious as to justify his removal before the expiration of his elected term, it is unfortunate that his critics are seeking to recall him. A recall election is set for next August.
Now questions have arisen over whether the city charter requires the City Council to adopt a resolution removing Littlefield from office -- a move the mayor says he would fight and that the council seems extremely reluctant to undertake in any event.
It's still uncertain, given legal challenges, whether the recall election itself will even take place.
The preferable course would be for Chattanooga voters to elect a new mayor in the next regular city election.
In the meantime, Chattanoogans obviously need not apologize for urging the mayor and members of the council to enact specific policies -- and for speaking up when they disagree with any particular action by the city's leaders.
But a bruising, drawn-out recall battle over what appear to be mainly policy differences does not bode well for Chattanooga.