Organizers of an effort to recall Gary Tofanelli, the elected supervisor for District 1 in Calaveras County, did not meet the 5 p.m. June 28 petition deadline, and they’ve issued a statement this week saying they believe Tofanelli “has shown what appears to be a sound conscience and desire to do right by the residents of Calaveras.”

A petition to recall Tofanelli was approved for circulation on March 30. Proponents were required to submit a minimum of 1,396 valid signatures. They have not said how many signatures they gathered.

Bill and Joan Wilson, who had a registered 3,000-square-foot outdoor cannabis grow on 20 acres at Circle XX outside Angels Camp, helped lead the effort to recall Tofanelli.

The statement issued Thursday by Bill Wilson says in part, “The Committee to Recall Supervisor Gary Tofanelli has determined that our efforts and energy will better serve the community if we focus on the issues at hand in Districts 4 & 5 and we did not submit the signatures gathered to recall Mr. Tofanelli in this November’s election.”

District 1 in Calaveras County includes the communities of Circle XX, San Andreas, Valley Springs, Campo Seco, La Contenta, Camanche, Burson and Wallace. Tofanelli could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Other recall efforts

In early June, a group trying to recall Dennis Mills, the District 4 supervisor, said they turned in more than 2,000 signatures, exceeding the 1,555 signatures required.

A supervisor at the Calaveras County elections office said in June all the signatures will be counted and validated, and they have 30 days to do so. If enough signatures were submitted and they are validated for an election, the election to recall or not recall Mills would be consolidated with the Nov. 6 general election.

Mills said at a June 26 Board of Supervisors meeting he’s not afraid of being recalled. District 4 includes the communities of Angels Camp, Altaville, Salt Spring Valley and Copperopolis.

An effort to recall Jack Garamendi, the District 2 supervisor, ceased in April when proponents turned in no signatures by the 5 p.m. April 19 deadline.

The divisive cannabis debate and the ban on commercial cannabis activities in Calaveras County have been central issues in all recent recall efforts. Supervisors supporting the final vote to ban in January were Tofanelli, Mills and Clyde Clapp, District 5. Garamendi and Mike Oliveira, District 3, voted against the ban.

In early May, Bill Wilson told the Board of Supervisors the ban was shutting down more than 500 registered, legal pot farms that are now no longer legally viable.

Oliveira and Clapp are running for reelection in November.

Oliveira came in second in the June primary to former supervisor Merita Callaway, who did not get more than 50 percent of the vote, resulting in a runoff in November. Callaway had 1,776 votes to Oliveira’s 1,052.

Clapp will face Benjamin Stopper in the general election. Stopper had 879 votes to Clapp’s 813.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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