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Council Recall Citizens Group Mounts Drive
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Dissatisfied with the current makeup of the Riverbank City Council, a group of voters named Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change have announced their intention of circulating a petition to recall council members Jesse James White and his grandfather, Dave A. White.

The notice of intent to recall being served on Jesse James White says he "does not represent the community of Riverbank. Jesse James White is currently on misdemeanor probation in Stanislaus County. This is not only a civil violation but also a violation of moral character to our community. There is also the issue of residency for Councilmember White. Creditable information shows he may not have lived in the city of Riverbank prior to his election."

This in turn questions his integrity, the paper continues. Elected officials should hold themselves accountable and responsible in their behavior. As representatives of the community, city officials need to conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner and must be held to a higher standard of ethics.

The document directed to Dave A. White says he should step down from Council "due to his lack of ethics, professionalism and prejudiced behavior." Councilmember Dave White was recalled in 1991 (he has said he resigned a week before the recall election) due to his unethical role in soliciting with his friend for over 1200 Riverbank sewer and water connections in another county. We believe this contract is still in effect today.

"Councilmember Dave White is currently serving on the same council with his grandson Jesse James White," the recall information continues. "This has raised the question; how can a city council have two family members serving simultaneously without cause for bias. And not only is Dave A. White his grandfather but also his employer."

Councilmember Dave White was also reported to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) for making derogatory and racial slurs in 2008 at a council meeting, the paper adds, "his actions exhibiting a lack of moral character and continued disregard for the best interests of Riverbank citizens."

The notice of intent to recall papers have been signed by 10 people led by Dorothy Nygard of Riverbank. Nygard was the first person to speak during the Feb. 13 public interviews of council candidates but said at the start she was withdrawing her candidacy "until there is a true vacancy." She went on to question irregularities in the selection of Jesse James White to a council seat because he allegedly did not live in the city at the time. Nygard said she would report this to the Secretary of State and the Stanislaus County Grand Jury.

The citizens who signed with Nygard include several who also spoke as applicants for a city council post at that meeting. They are Robert Salaiz, Darlan Ribeiro and John Vizcaino.

Other names on the notice of intention to recall paper include Eloisa Vela, Ernie Velasco, Ramon Bermudez, Sergio Lopez Jr., Lance Arauza and Maria Lopez.

City Clerk Linda Abid-Cummings said Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change has not yet filed any papers with City Hall but "it does not have to at this point." Serving the notice of intention to circulate a recall petition on Jesse James White and Dave A. White and getting it published in a newspaper is the first step toward recall. If it gets as far as a recall election, the group will need to win 25 percent of the almost 9,000 total of registered voters and the election of possible successors will be held in conjunction with the recall election.