Davis recall to cost Nevada County
July 31, 2003
According to Nevada County Clerk Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick, Gov. Gray Davis recall election will cost Nevada County between $75,000 and $125,000.
The money goes to printing regular, absentee and sample ballots, mailings, some polling places and poll workers, temporary election staff, programming for the ballot counting scanners and computer software, Jewett-Burdick said.
Nevada County Chief Financial Officer Joe Christoffel said the money – or part of it, if the higher estimate turns out to be closer to the actual cost – would come from a $76,950 contingency fund.
Because of the cost and because of the effect the recall could have on all of California, many Truckee and California residents are apprehensive about a recall vote.
“I think it’s a waste of money,” Truckee resident Andrew Kostick said. “He was elected – let him serve his term.”
Sylvia Huss, a Redding resident, had some of the same concerns. “We have another expense which we don’t need,” she said.
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In addition to the financial concern, some felt the recall was unwarranted, and some felt Davis simply did not live up to the job of governor.
“I see the cold hand of the rabid right wing,” Truckee local Michael Izard said. “I do worry about the future if this kind of behavior continues. Certainly it’s un-American.”
First District Republican Senator Thomas “Rico” Oller, who is the Northern California Chairman of Rescue California (a group which lobbied for the recall election), strongly believes Davis should be recalled. “What Davis has done with the office, is the epitome of evil,” Oller said. “It’s evil to put yourself in front of others.”
There may be some good news for Truckee, however. While Nevada County must pull from a contingency fund, local residents and governmental officials do not see a direct impact on town finances.
“As far as the recall on our specific district, I don’t see much effect,” District 4 California Assemblyman and republican Tim Leslie said. He added, “It depends on, ‘one, will the governor be recalled? and two, will his successor be good for the state?'”
The latter seems to be the question that looms.
While some agree Davis should be removed from office, they aren’t sure about the future of California’s governor. Truckee Mayor, Republican Ted Owens, said with so many candidates vying for the position of governor, the choices will be diluted. There will be too many choices, he said.
Owens added he does not agree with what the governor has done during his tenure, but, “I’d rather dance with a devil I know than one I don’t. That’s what could affect Truckee and all other towns in California.”
Oller disagreed. “Any replacement for Davis would be better. A trained monkey would be better – actually, an untrained monkey would be better,” he said. Oller said Davis “only believes in Gray Davis,” and added, “He’s not making decisions of what’s right and wrong,” just what’s good for himself.
Some even question the way the move for a recall began.
“They started the recall 30 days after Davis took office. What happened in 30 days after the election that is grounds for a recall,” Nevada County District 5 Supervisor Barbara Green stated. “It’s a sham and a shame.”
Owens and San Francisco resident Bill Ferrero both say Davis wasn’t the only one responsible for California’s current problems. “The Senate and Assembly chairs also have responsibility,” Ferrero said.
Owens added, “If the governor is recalled, it lets the legislature off the hook.”
As far as Davis’ fate, time will tell, but for now California counties are scrambling to get everything set for the Oct. 7 election. California residents will vote “yes” or “no” for the recall, and may also vote for Davis’ successor, if he is indeed recalled.
The problem for the counties is they do not have much time or money to organize an unexpected election. According to Jewett-Burdick, counties usually have much more time to organize an election. Candidates who wish to run for governor may file up to Aug. 9, and Jewett-Burdick said her office won’t get the list until Aug. 13.
Then, she said, it can finalize ballots, print them and send them.
“I’ll be pleased if our voters receive their sample ballot booklets anytime during the month before the election,” Jewett-Burdick said.