The Election Commission on Monday morning put off any action on a petition to recall District 7 Councilman Chris Anderson.
Commissioners said they wanted to look into several legal issues regarding the petition. They noted that Monday's meeting was to interview finalists for election administrator.
The recall petition will be considered at the next Commission meeting, on Feb. 13
The commission did say it will send the petition to the State Election Commission to verify that the form of the petition is correct. The petition will then be on the agenda at the next meeting.
Charles Wysong, a leader of the recall group, said the group has been advised that the number of signatures that will be required is lower than expected. The number of valid signatures required is 1,600 or 15 percent of the registered voters in Mr. Anderson’s district.
The petitioners will have 75 days to gather the 1,600 signatures. However, all information for the August ballot must be sent to the printer by April 10. If the recall petitioners wish to have the recall vote on Aug. 7, they will have 56 days to get the required signatures.
Mahmood Abdullah, one of the petitioners at the commission meeting, said he does not believe it will be difficult to get the required signatures. “Our plan was always to have the signatures gathered in two weeks. If we do that, we hope to have the recall certified at the March commission meeting,” he said.
Teresa Wood, a St Elmo resident, said, “We are going to use this time until the next commission meeting to get group captains and our walking lists made up. We want to hit the ground running in February.”
East Lake resident George Goss said, “Chris Anderson operating on his own personal agenda has brought all of this about. He does not represent the concerns of our district. Since being elected to the City Council, his focus has been the concerns of special interest groups."
Alfred Johnson, pastor of the Church of the First Born, said, “Mr. Anderson is operating on a personal agenda and is not addressing the primary needs of our district like affordable housing, gang violence and job opportunities. The district doesn’t need urban chickens, domestic partners health benefits or the ability of city employees to hold political office. His legislative efforts show how really out of touch he is with the needs of the 7th District. We got kids being killed, and he’s worried about people keeping chickens.”
Gill Schropshire, president of the Alton Park-Piney Woods Neighborhood Associations said, "He has no one to blame but himself. He just ignores us. Back in October, I had to go before the City Council before I could get a meeting with him. That’s not right. Even then it took Chairman Hakeem getting involved to really make a meeting happen,”