BY BUDDY NEVINS
The attempt to recall Tamarac Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, which failed by just 18 signatures to gather enough support in March, is just 100 short of success.
The recall team hope that they will gather enough new signatures this weekend to put them over the top. They need 1,250 valid signatures before taking the next step in what is a long process.
Like in March, the recall is being led by attorney and Republican activist Al Entin and Tamarac Talk Internet site editor and Democratic activist Sharon Aron Baron.
“We are 100 from our goal,” Baron said in an e-mail Friday.
“We need 1,250 signatures and I have 20 people that will be knocking on registered voter’s doors this today through Sunday night and we are determined to be a couple hundred over our amount, just like last time…,” she wrote.
Petitions turned in to the city clerk in March were found to contain too many names of residents who were not registered to vote nor voters who didn’t live in Atkins-Grad’s district.
That earlier drive fell 18 votes short.
Volunteers immediately went out again to collect a new set of signatures.
“…This time we have a secret weapon – Andrew Ladanowski, of Coral Springs, who felt badly after we failed the first time, has volunteered his expertise with a software program to help verify our signers, create walk lists and maps and has made this attempt a much more organized process,” Baron wrote.
“Now we don’t have to worry about all the invalid voters we had last time that ate 20% of the amount that we signed up,” she added.
Entin and Baron were outraged that Atkins-Grad was acquitted earlier this year on corruption charges. The commissioner was accused of taking gifts from a developer.
Atkins-Grad’s defense: Ignorance.
The commissioner didn’t know accepting the gifts was against the law. Jurors were sympathetic and let her off.
After gathering the required signatures of 10 percent of the voters in the district, the Supervisor of Elections Office will either approve or reject them.
If enough signatures are approved, the recall team must return to the streets.
In this second petition drive, volunteers needs to gather 15 percent of the district’s 12,496 voters to sign — 1874. If those are approved, a recall election is supposed to be set.
All that is theory.
What usually happens is that the recall ends up in court and a judge decides whether the election proceeds.
I wrote about that here.
The inability of prevous efforts to push aside the legal roadblocks is why even Entin and Baron say in their news release that there has never been a successful recall in Broward.