Huntington Beach Recall Organizers Turn in Signatures for 3 Councilors

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
February 23, 2022 Updated: February 23, 2022

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.—Organizers attempting to recall three Huntington Beach city councilmembers turned in thousands of signatures on Feb. 23, surpassing the minimum threshold of signatures to begin the recall process.

The 20-member recall group, known as Save Surf City, turned in signatures to recall Mayor Pro Tem Mike Posey, Councilman Dan Kalmick, and Councilwoman Kim Carr.

According to recall organizers, around 14,000 signatures for each councilmember were turned in to the Huntington Beach City Clerk’s office, far above the approximate 13,000 signature minimum requirement—representing 10 percent of current Huntington Beach voters—yet not quite the 20,000 recommended by the clerk’s office in the likely case that some signatures get removed during the verification process.

Epoch Times Photo
Huntington Beach resident Cari Swan helps a woman fill out her information to place her signature to recall Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr and city councilmembers in front of a grocery store. Volunteers extended their time by one hour on Feb. 6, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Save Surf City attempted to recall current Mayor Barbara Delgleize and Councilwoman Natalie Moser previously, yet missed the Feb. 7 deadline before collecting the minimum number of signatures.

Organizers say their recent failed attempt, which they called a “gut punch,” to recall Degleize and Moser motivated them, saying volunteers worked around the clock at grocery stores to gather the requisite signatures this time around.

“Our volunteers just kicked butt,” Cari Swan, one of Save Surf City’s members, told The Epoch Times. “The number that we produced in the last couple of weeks was just amazing.”

Russ Neal, another one of the organization’s main members, said he was proud of how the community came together and noted that this recall was different than most, since it was fully volunteer-based.

“One thing that differentiates this recall effort is that it has been 100 percent volunteer, grassroots-driven without having big money, lawyers, political consultants, or anything like that to help,” Neal told The Epoch Times.

“We’re gratified for all the work that people did and we believe that the educational work we did and making citizens of Huntington Beach aware of the threat posed by Sacramento-driven high-density development in certain cities has been extremely important. And that the educational benefit will be paying U.S. political and electoral dividends in the months and years to come.”

In its petition to recall, Save Surf City cited issues such as the council’s stance on density housing, what they say is a lack of transparency, the financing of a homeless shelter, and “massive government expansion.”

Organizers additionally cited the council’s decision to not hold a special election after Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz, a Republican, resigned in 2021 as another reason for their recall.

The council voted to appoint lawyer and civil rights activist Rhonda Bolton to the seat instead.

At this point, the city clerk’s office will review the petition documents and ensure the minimum number of signatures was collected, according to Huntington Beach City Clerk Robin Estanislau. If that number is reached, the petition will be delivered to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, which will conduct a verification process to certify that each signature is connected to a person registered to vote, which can take up to 30 working days.

If the registrar certifies the petition, the petition will then go to the city council, which would have 14 days to produce a resolution to call for a special election.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Posey, Councilman Dan Kalmick, and Councilwoman Kim Carr didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.