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No Go Riverbank Council Recall Effort Thwarted
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A move to recall Riverbank City Council members Dave White and Jesse James White has failed.

Unable to gather anywhere near the 2,247 signatures required to put it on the November ballot by Thursday's deadline, Aug. 20, Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change gave up the effort and admitted defeat the day before.

"They had 90 days to gather 25 percent or about 2,200 names but they got only 1,800 by Wednesday so they did not submit the petition," said City Clerk Linda Abid-Cummings.

"I'm happy the recall didn't get much support," said Dave White. "I don't think many people wanted to sign. The people have spoken and said they don't want a recall."

Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change organizer Sergio Lopez claimed an anti-recall movement called Citizens for Riverbank confused the voters and had much to do with the failure of the recall.

Citizens for Riverbank mailed fliers, set up a web site and gathered written requests from people who had signed the recall petition asking their signatures be withdrawn as allowed by state law.

Abid-Cummings received a total of more than 1,100 requests for withdrawal of their signatures from people who had originally signed the recall document.

Some citizens have claimed the anti-recall request was deliberately misleading in that it referred to "opposing any new taxes, assessment fees or charges," besides opposing a recall.

Abid-Cummings said she too felt the wording was not clear and referred it to City Attorney Tom Hallinan who along with other attorneys said it may have confused some voters but it was legal.

Riverbank Citizens For Fair Change mounted the recall movement against Dave White, 70, and his grandson Jesse James White, 20, on a number of issues.

They claimed Dave White was unethical in council dealings, made racist remarks at a public meeting and had liens against his property for failure to pay government debts.

"I owe nothing except to the Bank of America and I make regular payments," said Dave White. "I own all my property except for my house. There are no tax liens against me."

The allegations against Jesses James White centered on him still being on probation for driving under the influence in 2007 when he pleaded no contest to the lesser charge of "wet and reckless" driving.

The Stanislaus County Grand Jury last month recommended dismissing Jesse James White from office because he took out candidacy papers before registering to vote, which is a violation of election law.

Lopez said the group will pursue action on these grounds but turn its attention to informing voters about the race for mayor, which has six candidates, including Dave White, in the running for election in November.