Vice Mayor, Councilmember Served with Recall Papers
A group of Alamedans have begun the process to recall Malia Vella as Vice Mayor of Alameda.
The group served Vella with a notice of intention for recall at the Tuesday, June 19, City Council meeting. The group also published the notice of intention petition in the June 21 edition of the Alameda Sun.
The petition read, “To the Honorable Malia Vella… the undersigned registered qualified voters of the City of Alameda hereby give notice that we are the proponents of a recall petition and that we seek your recall and removal from the office of Vice Mayor… and to demand election of a successor in that office.”
The group wrote Vella’s “improper handling of the City Manager Jill Keimach matter” as grounds for the recall. Vella responded to the notice with a statement on Twitter after the meeting.
“Even when I was under attack by former City Manager Jill Keimach with her baseless allegations, I remained accessible and focused on the work at hand,” wrote Vella. “I was hopeful that when an independent investigator found that none of her allegations against me had any basis in fact that all of us could move past this distraction and allow me to serve the people of Alameda.
“This does not seem to be the case,” continued Vella. “There is a lot of misinformation around this recall and I look forward to continued engagement with Alameda residents about my service to them. I know voters trust that I acted with integrity and in the public’s interest in every decision before me on the Council.”
The petition was then handed to the Alameda City Clerk Lara Weisiger. She must verify at least 20 of the 33 signatures on the petition are from registered Alameda voters before the group can collect signatures from the public. Her decision was made yesterday after press time. If the group collects 9,421 valid signatures — or 20 percent of Alameda’s 47,105 registered voters — over a 120-day period, the recall measure will placed on the November ballot.
The same group tried to recall Councilmember Jim Oddie, who also was investigated for allegations made by Keimach during the Fire Chief hiring process. The group handed the petition to Oddie at the June 5 City Council meeting, but did not file the petition with the City Clerk within 10 days. Even if the petition was filed on time, the recall would have been unlikely because according to California state law, public officials can’t be recalled from their position if they have less than six months left on their term. Oddie’s term ends on Dec. 18.
An independent investigation of the Alameda Fire Chief hiring process cleared Vella of any wrongdoing. It did declare that Oddie violated the Alameda City Charter. Keimach ended her employment and was given a $900,000 settlement (“Council Votes 5-0 to Put Manager on Leave” May 15).