Despite hundreds of signatures, Dickinson's attorney says three things invalidated a mayoral recall

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, January 25, 2024
3 things invalidated in petition to recall Dickinson mayor
Dickinson residents collected enough signatures to recall their mayor, but it won't take place after there were multiple issues in the petition.

DICKINSON, Texas (KTRK) -- Despite collecting hundreds of signatures more than they needed, a group in Dickinson is expected to learn their recall efforts for the mayor will fall short.

For weeks, signs calling to recall Mayor Sean Skipworth were planted throughout Dickinson. Scott Shrader, one of the people behind the signs, said the message resonated with hundreds.

"I think that's probably a shock to Sean (Skipworth), and that may be why he's not commenting at this point," Shrader said. "I know he's seen some of the names. There are some well-known names who signed the petition, who are concerned about the future of Dickinson."

Two weeks ago, Shrader and the others behind the efforts turned the recall petition with hundreds of signatures more than what was necessary. Despite this, a letter in the mail is expected to say it wasn't enough.

It was a result that boiled over at Tuesday night's city council meeting. A number of residents addressed the council and expressed their frustration.

Afterward, the city attorney explained why the recall won't be validated. City Attorney Nghiem Doan says the petition has issues with confirming the number of signatures on each page, if each person was aware of who was at risk of a recall, and it lacked specifics on what the mayor did wrong.

"I would analogize it to getting cited by a police officer, and the only thing it says on the citation is, 'You broke the law,'" Doan explained.

Political experts said although city leaders may not validate the petition, there are steps organizers can take.

"You can appeal it to the city council, and the city council will then review it and determine whether the city secretary is correct in their determination or not," Rice University political science professor Mark Jones explained.

If that doesn't work, there's another option: try again. Experts said that now that organizers have names and addresses, they could ask the same people to sign again and correct their mistakes.

"If we don't get any relief through the council or through the courts, we will do it again," Shrader said.

A recall fight may fail this time, but organizers say these signs could once again pop up in Dickinson.

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