A group trying to recall Dennis Mills, the supervisor for Calaveras County District 4, said they turned in more than 2,000 signatures shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, before their 5 p.m. deadline in San Andreas.
District 4 includes the communities of Angels Camp, Altaville, Salt Spring Valley and Copperopolis. The county’s ban on cannabis cultivation for commercial purposes in Calaveras County has been a central issue in the effort to recall Mills.
He could not be reached for comment but in January, when efforts to recall him began, Mills said it would be another opportunity for voters to decide how they want to be represented.
A supervisor at the Calaveras County elections office Wednesday said the signatures would be counted and validated, and they have 30 days to do so. Proponents of recalling Mills were required to turn in 1,555 valid signatures to get a recall on ballots later this year.
“There’s more than 2,000 there,” Angels Camp resident Jeremy Maddux said as he handed a stack of forms stuffed in a brown legal folder to Robin Glanville with the elections office. More than a dozen supporters of the recall cheered and applauded and exchanged high fives as they walked out of the elections office and stepped outside at Government Center.
If the petition contains the requisite signatures then a certificate of sufficiency will be submitted to the governing board at the next regular meeting.
If enough signatures were submitted and they are validated for an election, that election would be consolidated with the Nov. 6 general election, Rebecca Turner of the Calaveras County elections office said Wednesday.
Jessica Clofine, a resident of Valley Springs, was gathering signatures Wednesday afternoon in front of the Save Mart in Angels Camp. She said is a registered grower and she is “compliantly shutting down” in accordance with the ban on commercial cannabis activities that takes full effect Thursday.
Clofine said she and others had gathered 15 new signatures between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday. She said she and other signature gatherers were “working on buffer” – to get more than the total number of signatures required.
Recall proponent Prappana Smith, a managing partner in a state-licensed cannabis cultivation business called Magic Show LLC, said the same Wednesday afternoon at a coffee shop in Angels Camp.
“We have more than 2,000 signatures,” Smith said. “We believe we have validated more than enough signatures to get this recall on ballots.”
The petition to recall Mills was approved for circulation on March 8.
A separate petition to recall Gary Tofanelli, the District 1 supervisor, was approved for circulation on March 30. The proponents are required to submit 1,396 valid signatures by 5 p.m. June 28.
Tofanelli happened to be at Government Center just before 4 p.m. Wednesday and Smith spoke to Tofanelli and said he was leaving Calaveras County.
“This was supposed to be my year to make a million bucks,” Smith told Tofanelli. “You guys took it away.”
Asked for a response, Tofanelli told The Union Democrat, “I have no comment on any of that.”
The Board of Supervisors split on a 3-2 vote in January to ban commercial cannabis. Tim Lutz, the county administrator, said all cannabis cultivation, except for registered personal use, must cease after June 7.
The Calaveras Cannabis Legal Defense Fund and Trevor Wittke, a grower and executive director for the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance, have ongoing legal moves against Calaveras County and the Board of Supervisors in Calaveras Superior Court.
A 36-page writ from lawyers for the plaintiffs alleges Brown Act violations and misuse of public resources by the county and the Board of Supervisors.
Specifically, the Calaveras Cannabis Legal Defense Fund and Wittke accuse members of the board of meeting and communicating with other board members to discuss creation of an environmental hazmat registry database and an environmental white paper, Silent Poison, distributed by Mills in October, and to negotiate a proposed ban on commercial cannabis cultivation.
The Calaveras Cannabis Legal Defense Fund and Wittke say the alleged actions took place without public notice of the meetings and conversations, in advance of the Jan. 10 split decision by the board to rescind existing commercial cannabis regulation and replace it with the current ban.
Contact Guy McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.