No matter what the reason, I think it's a bad idea. Roefaro's budget, in particular his raiding of the water fund, definitely puts the city on the path to bankruptcy, but I don't think that will be enough to fuel a successful recall this early in his administration. A year from now, when he's slurping up the last of the water fund and the sheer magnitude of the financial problems facing Utica start to sink in, seems like a more likely prospect. Then again, maybe the threat of a recall will be enough to get him to change course before it's too late.
Regardless of the timeline, this is the relevant section of the city's municipal code, taken from this site:
Sec. 2.072. Election, referendum, repeal and recall (recall of elected city officials).Any incumbent of an elective office, whether elected by vote of the people or appointed to fill a vacancy, may be removed from office by the qualified registered electors of the city, as hereinafter provided. Such removal of the incumbent of an office shall be known as recall, and the procedure to effect the removal of an incumbent of an elective office shall be as hereinafter provided:
(a) A petition signed by qualified registered electors equal in number to at least twenty (20) percent of the total number of votes cast for governor, in the city or the district from which the incumbent is being removed, at the last gubernatorial election, demanding the submission to the electors of the city the question whether the incumbent of such office shall be removed by vote of such electors shall be addressed to the board of elections and filed with the city clerk.
(b) Upon the filing of a petition, the city clerk shall immediately refer the same to the board of elections of Oneida County, who shall examine such petitions for sufficiency. Any signature dated more than thirty (30) days prior to the date of filing must be disregarded. Separate petitions of like tenor and effect shall be bound together by the city clerk and shall be deemed to constitute a single petition.
(c) The petition shall be signed by the qualified registered elector, who shall add his place of residence, giving the street and number and the date on which he signs. Each signer shall acknowledge the execution of the petition before a duly qualified elector of the city or district as the case may be.
(d) There shall be appended at the bottom of each sheet a signed statement of a witness who is a duly qualified elector of the city or the district, as the case may be. Such a statement shall be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit, and if it contains a material false statement, shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as if he had been duly sworn. The form of such statement shall be substantially as follows except as otherwise provided in the election law.
I, _________ (name of witness) state: I am a duly qualified elector of the city of Utica or _________ District. I now reside at _________ (residence address, also post office address if not identical) which is in the _________ (fill in number) election district in the city of Utica in the county of Oneida.
Each of the individuals whose names are subscribed to this petition sheet containing _________ (fill in number) signatures, subscribed the same in my presence on the dates above indicated and identified himself to be the individual who signed this sheet. I understand that this statement will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit and, if it contains a material false statement, shall subject me to the same penalties as if I had been duly sworn.
(e) Such petition shall contain a general statement of the grounds for which such removal is sought, of not more than three hundred (300) words in length, and the sufficiency of such statement shall not be subject to review; provided, however, that no petition for the removal of any elective officer may be filed until he has actually held office for six (6) months. The sufficiency or insufficiency of any recall petition shall not be subject to review by the common council.
(f) Upon presentation of the petition by the city clerk to the board of elections, the commissioners shall immediately examine the same and the signatures and acknowledgments attached thereto and check the same with the registration list of the last preceding general election and thereafter return the petition to the city clerk with their certificates showing the total number of signatures attached thereto; the number, if any, who are not qualified registered electors of the city or the district as the case maybe; the number, if any, whose signatures were not properly acknowledged; the number who appear to be qualified registered electors of the city or the district as the case may be; and what percentage they constitute of the entire registered electors who voted for governor in the city or the district from which the incumbent is being removed, at the last gubernatorial election. The city clerk shall thereafter present the petition to the common council.
(g) Upon presentation of such recall petition to the council by the city clerk, the council shall thereupon order the holding of a special election for the purpose of submitting to the electors of the city or the district as the case may be, the question whether such officer shall be recalled. Such election shall be held not less than thirty (30) days, not more than sixty (60) days after the date of the certificate of the board of elections to the sufficiency of such recall petition; provided, however, that ifany other election for any purpose at which all qualified registered electors of the city are entitled to vote, is to occur within sixty (60) days after the date of such certificate, the council may, in its discretion, order the holding of such recall election, and the consolidation thereof, with such other election occurring not more than sixty (60) days after the date of said certificate. The question of recalling the mayor and/or the comptroller and/or any number of members of the council may be submitted at the same election, but as to each person whose removal is sought a separate petition shall be filed and provision shall be made for an entirely separate ballot.
(h) Any elective officer for whose recall and removal from office an election is held shall continue to perform the duties of his office until such time as the board of elections, having canvassed the vote at such recall election, shall declare that a majority of the electors voting have voted in favor of the recall of such officer. In such event, the officer shall be removed from office.
(i) Vacancy in any office arising out of recall pursuant to this section shall be filled in the same manner provided by this charter for vacancies under other circumstances.
(j) No person who has been removed from an elective office by the recall, or who has resigned from such office while recall proceedings for his removal were pending against him, shall be appointed to any office under the Charter within two (2) years after such removal or resignation.
(k) No elected official shall be subjected to a recall election more than once per term of office.