Time for Chattanooga mayor recallers to quit

Time for Chattanooga mayor recallers to quit

May 11th, 2012 in Opinion Times

Forecasting future events is always tricky, but it now seems likely that the misguided effort of several small groups to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield has been permanently stopped. The latest snag in the recall's comedy of errors appears similar in nature to the earlier flaws that have halted the effort: the recallers' appeal for an expedited appeals court hearing to approve a last-chance recall ballot in August failed, again, to meet legal requirements.

The latest snafu arose, an appeals court ruled Wednesday, because the recall proponents failed the duty of appealing first to the trial judge for a reversal of his February ruling, which had halted the recall process and barred the Election Commission from putting a recall vote on the August ballot.

Similar legal setbacks preceded the latest ruling. The recallers initially mounted their effort more that two years ago over the mayor's tax and annexation policies, but they failed then to follow legal rules for recall petitions. Their petitions were not uniform; they didn't ask signers if they wanted to recall the mayor; they didn't require all signers to date their signature; and they didn't collect enough signatures of registered voters to meet the prevailing state recall law.

The Election Commission's Republican majority subsequently erred by accepting the flawed petitions, and by wrongly certifying a recall election. Mayor Littlefield ultimately won an injunction in a trial court due to these errors, but never mind. Even at this late date, recallers are trying to revive their quixotic mission. Good grief. With just 10 months left in the mayor's term, it's time to quit.