Recall: Issue Between Pastor and Mayor Continues to Boil

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 9:27pm

Things are really heated now that Pastor Tom Brown has turned in all three petitions in his effort to recall the mayor and two city representatives.

The movement started after Mayor John Cook and Representatives Steve Ortega and Susie Byrd voted to restore health benefits for gay and domestic partners of city employees after the public voted against it. More than 15,000 signatures have been collected by Pastor Tom Brown and his supporters to recall Mayor John Cook and Representatives Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega.

"They violated our constitutional right which is the right to vote and have our vote be respected."

Mayor Cook says the language on the ballot was confusing, and the issue could have been resolved long ago by making the message clearer.

"If that's what their goal was is that they wanted to make sure that fornicators and homosexuals did not get health care benefits then just say it that way and then see how the people of El Paso vote for it."

Representative Ortega says he respects the recall process and is confident in his decision.

"Well over 100 city affiliated employees or retirees were going to have their benefits lost based on the sloppy language that tom brown submitted I felt like that was an injustice on top of his stance on homosexuality so I don't regret my vote one bit."

The estimated cost for recall elections are $900,000 to $2,000,000.
The mayor doesn't want taxpayers to take the hit but pastor brown says it doesn't have to be so expensive.

"It doesn't have to cost the people anything, all the three people have to do is now resign and if they resign they leave with at least some dignity and show respect to the votes of el paso."

Because a recall election is a lengthy process, it may only take off 8 to 10 months of the city leader's time in office. But recall supporters say it's a matter of principle.

"We would be satisfied if we took back one day. The thing is not how many days we're taking the thing is learn a lesson you want to run for city council."



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