In preparation for May recall, Oxnard council mulls contracts for election services

Ventura County Star |

--The Oxnard City Council will be asked Tuesday to allocate $467,000 for the Oxnard recall special election on .

It'll likely be an awkward vote for the council to approve money on an election its members do not want. Four of the five officials face being recalled in the special election led by Oxnard resident Aaron Starr.

Mayor Tim Flynn and council members Carmen Ramirez, Bert Perello and Oscar Madrigal said they plan to fight for their jobs.

Most of the recall costs come from hiring an election services firm. The contract with Martin & Chapman will cost $375,000. The Anaheim company offers printing, mailing, signature verification and tabulation services.

Other costs to be considered at the council meeting include $9,900 for consulting services and $82,000 to the Ventura County Clerk and Recorder's Office for verifying signatures of the recall petitions.

The total cost of the election will likely increase by another $24,000 for the hiring of polling station workers and a temporary worker for the city clerk's office. The estimated total cost of the recall is about $491,000.

Read more:

* Oxnard recall election could cost the city close to $500,000

* With signature count complete, Oxnard recall election to go forward

Historically, city elections like this recall are conducted by the elections division of the county recorder. But because the recall in May is so close to the primary, the county is unable to help.



County Clerk and Recorder Mark Lunn said the issue is not having enough machines to run two elections within a short period of time.

"Given a choice, we would obviously want to do the election. We just didn't have a choice," Lunn said. "We've never had to do two elections back to back like that."

Lunn said bigger counties like Los Angeles and Riverside have the equipment to run back-to-back elections, but not Ventura.

"I feel bad as a registrar," Lunn said. "It's just timing was not good from an equipment standpoint."

Lunn said his office will provide voter information data and any kind of help that doesn't involve equipment. He said much of Oxnard's special election is unprecedented, from the proximity to another election to the number of signatures that had to be verified.

"We've never had four council members subject to a recall," Lunn said.

In December, the elections division finished sorting through some 68,000 signatures and concluded there were at least 48,000 valid signatures, the number needed for the recall to go through.

This is the last week of the nomination period, the time in which interested candidates can submit paperwork to run in the special election.

So far, 16 people have pulled papers, according to City Clerk Michelle Ascension. Of the 16, four are looking to run for Flynn's seat, three for Ramirez's seat, two for Perello's seat and seven for Madrigal's seat.

As of Monday afternoon, two have qualified as candidates. They are Larry Stein running for mayor and Daniel Chavez running for Madrigal's seat. Modesto "Morey" Navarro also filed paperwork to run for mayor but has not yet qualified. Three more interested candidates planned to file by the end of Monday.

The nomination period ends at .

Tuesday's meeting will start at at the Council Chambers, 305 W. Third St.

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