A group of residents started an effort Thursday March 7 to recall Lee’s Summit Councilmember Rob Binney because of his vote in favor of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Five residents filed an affidavit required to begin the recall process, said Lee’s Summit City Clerk Denise Chisum.
The City Council was to make a final vote on the rezoning that Thursday night; Binney said he supposed he could change his vote for political cover, but would not do so because he thinks the development is in the community’s best interest.
He said that the opponents were within their rights in a democracy, under the City Charter, to attempt the recall.
“I still believe I made the right decision,” Binney said in an interview. “If enough people think I made the right vote, I’ll remain in office.”
He said he’d gotten some comments from opponents of Wal-Mart, but many more from supporters of the development.
Tim Kirkpatrick, a leader of Citizens for Responsible Development, said the recall was prompted by Binney’s Wal-Mart vote.
“We’re going to take the necessary steps to get people in office who are going to hear us and listen to us,” Kirkpatrick said.
His wife is one of the petitioners. The Wal-Mart opposition is also working toward recall petitions for other council members who support the Supercenter.
Chisum said she needed to check that the five applicants are registered voters and eligible to circulate petitions for the recall. Then the clerk has to draw up the petition that states reasons for the recall and within three days provide blank petitions to the committee to be circulated. Recall advocates would have 60 days to obtain signatures from registered voters to force the recall election.
The clerk also has to calculate how many signatures are required to force a recall election, based on the number of voters in the last election.
If the recall election is successful, the council would appoint Binney’s replacement to serve until the next election.