An effort to recall Mayor Christopher Perricone has ended.
Representing the political action committee Mineral Wells Tomorrow, Ryan Roach and Brad Bennett said they were informed the state rejected the proposed election date – one prescribed by city charter.
“The city clerk informed us the state is overruling our election date and we couldn’t hold an election until May,” said Roach. “Because of that we decided not to submit our petition.”
The next uniform election date is Nov. 5, but the petition effort missed on its timing to make that date in accordance with the city charter’s recall protocol, which as it stands is now in conflict with state law. That left the council election date in May as the next available one.
Once a recall petition is validated by the clerk, the city charter gives the targeted official five days to resign and face a recall election that must be held in no less than 30 days, nor more than 60 days.
Perricone received, but declined to respond to, a request for comment.
Besides, the election date conflict, Roach and Bennett acknowledged the petition fell short of the required 1,828 signatures of registered voters residing in the city. They said in the 30 days they had, they obtained about half of the needed signatures. The deadline to submit the petition was Friday.
Roach noted they had more than the 630 people who voted for Perricone in 2018.
“It leads me to believe that a lot of citizens are concerned with his leadership and would have welcomed the opportunity had there been a recall election,” he said.
Bennett agreed that the effort by many volunteers, some who voted for the mayor, and number of signatures gathered sends a message of dissatisfaction about the mayor.
“It is a referendum on his tenure and his leadership,” said Bennett. “He is often absent when needed and present when not. For example, he took himself out of the Baker negotiations, the largest project this town has ever had. This was a group effort.”
“It brought a lot of people together, different walks of life and political affiliations,” said Roach. “Where a lot of people saw it being divisive, I think it unified people.”
The petition cited 11 grounds for wanting to recall Perricone. It was the first recall effort since 1991, when one failed to oust then Councilman Bob Walls.
While the recall effort is over, Perricone is still facing an investigation stemming from a charter violation complaint filed against him by City Clerk Peggy Clifton. Council also referred an “altered document” to law enforcement, though that document has not been made public. A Texas Rangers investigation into alleged felony perjury by Perricone is believed to remain active.