The Franklin County Clerk’s Office Friday afternoon jumped right on the recall petition for county commissioner Steve Harris.
A group of concerned residents of the Fourth District that Harris represents turned in the petition Friday afternoon.
“It takes time,” Janet Paddock, county clerk, said to verify 77 pages of names. “The more we can work on it, the quicker it gets done. We are hoping Monday or Tuesday we would know.
“It takes time to go through them to verify their signature, make sure they are in the right district. We have to be able to read it to look it up.”
The recall petition was approved by Paddock on July 13. The group needs 460 valid registered voters in the Fourth District to force a recall election.
The official petition states the grounds for the recall are due to Harris “failing to perform his duties prescribed by law and engaging in misconduct in office by repeatedly failing to attend commission meetings and consequently failing to represent his electors during commission meetings, and failing to deliberate and vote with the other commissioners on matters considered during the meetings he missed including the county budget, county contracts, county zoning matters, county personnel matters and county public policy issues.”
Harris attended his first morning county commission meeting Wednesday since April when he accepted a human resources position with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Topeka.
Steve Cox, a member of the group that started the petition, said more than 500 voters signed it.
“We feel we have enough signatures collected to move forward,” he said. “We feel pretty good about it. We are not worried about when we are trying to get an election, but feel comfortable that we have the right amount of signatures.”
Paddock said her office would like to proceed as quickly as possible on the signatures.
“We need to get it verified because we need to find out if it is going to be on the [general election] ballot [in November],” Paddock said. “We are trying to wrap up our primary election results ... finalize what is going to be on the ballot.”
Paddock said the drop-dead date to get the general ballot finalized is Sept. 15.
“That is when they come here to program my ballot,” she said.
Paddock said it would work out best for the county — if a recall election came to fruition — for it to be on the November ballot.
“If it does not make it to the general election ballot, the county would have to pay for a special election,” she said. “No one wants to pay for a special election.”