Monterey County

What does it take to recall a councilmember or mayor?

Council Member Jose Castaneda's Controversy Continues

SALINAS, Calif. - A recall effort against Salinas City Councilmember Jose Castañeda is close to kicking off.

As of Wednesday night, the Salinas city clerk was still reviewing the blank petition, going over corrections the proponents were required to make.

All of this comes on the heels of Castañeda's censure by the city council Tuesday night.

The censure is a public admonishment for Castañeda and it has nothing to do with actually removing him from the council.

"The public just needs to understand that that avenue is there. To recall someone, the city council nor my office have no authority," said Patricia Barajas, the Salinas city clerk. "No, in terms of really no delegation to remove any councilmember or mayor from office."

If Barajas gives the petition the go-ahead, the group, led by Salinas resident Juan Sandoval, has 90 days to gather signatures from 25 percent of registered voters in District One, which is Castaneda's district.

That's roughly 1,575 signatures.

Once that's complete, the petition will be sent to the county to verify the signatures.

If that's good to go, it will go before the city council to set a date for a recall election, Barajas said.

The only way the council can alter Castañeda's future is if the councilmember misses another two city council meetings. Castañeda was absent for Tuesday's meeting.

News Channel 5 asked Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter why they decided to censure Castañeda.

"I think it's to send a message to say your councilmembers don't appreciate your behavior, number one among them, they don't appreciate how you treat the public, they don't appreciate how you do business and they want you to obey the rules," Gunter said.

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