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Council Crisis Call Renewed For Resignations
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The attempted recall of two Riverbank City Council members heated up at the July 13 council meeting when recall leaders and other residents asked again for the resignation of Vice Mayor Dave White and Councilmember Jesse James White.

Riverbank resident Douglas Daniels called for both Whites to resign during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The Stanislaus County Grand Jury recently issued an opinion that Jesse James White, who is Dave White's grandson, violated state election law when he failed to register to vote prior to completing his city council candidate paperwork. The grand jury recommended the city remove Jesse James White from his council seat.

Both Jesse James White and Dave White are the targets of a recall movement called Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change led by Dorothy Nygard and Sergio Lopez and involving Robert Salaiz and Jeanine Tucker.

The recall movement has charged Jesse James White, among other things, with not being a Riverbank resident at the time he ran for election to the city council and being on probation for "wet and reckless driving" for an incident a couple of years ago when he was still in high school.

That phrase means the District Attorney's office originally sought drunken driving but allowed the case to be pleaded down to reckless driving involving alcohol, according to a police sergeant.

Their accusations against Dave White range from allegedly making racist remarks during a council meeting to voting on items where he had a conflict of interest to another recall move against him more than 10 years ago when he supported building a large subdivision and golf course called Riverbrook, which would have consumed most of the city's sewer plant capacity.

Another movement, meanwhile, supporting the two Whites and calling itself Citizens of Riverbank has created a website at and mailed newsletters throughout town asking citizens not to sign the recall papers.

Recall supporters have until Aug. 22 to gather some 2,250 valid signatures they need to put the issue on a ballot and had about 1,600 unchecked names at the last count. But it would take until sometime between late December and early February to bring the matter to a vote, said City Clerk Linda Abid Cummings.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered Riverbank City Council struggles on with just four members and no mayor after two mayors within three months resigned to take jobs outside the city. Dave White, as vice mayor, runs the meetings.

The election for mayor, who is chosen separately from council but also for a four-year term, is scheduled for Nov. 3. The first day to take out papers for that election was July 13. As of July 20, three people - namely Dave White, Lee Ulloa (a candidate in 2004) and Larry King - had taken out papers. They have until Aug. 7 to return them and qualify as candidates.