After less than a month in office, Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz has inspired a recall effort.
South Hall resident Cliff McGlamry said he has been upset by the recent actions of Lutz and commissioners Scott Gibbs and Ashley Bell and wants to start by removing Lutz, his district commissioner, from office.
"The way that these guys have come in, they are divisive; they're not doing things that seem to be in the best interest of the county," McGlamry said.
McGlamry, who describes himself as a moderate who hasn't been involved in county government before, said he was disturbed by the removal of the county's administrator, assistant administrator, finance director and attorney, which the three commissioners approved.
When he read that Lutz proposed reducing the powers of the commission chairman, he decided he needed to do something.
"At that point I snapped; I've had enough," McGlamry said. "If I can get enough support to do it ... I'll go ahead and see if we can run him right out of office."
McGlamry started a group on Facebook to see if others feel the same way he does about the new direction the commission has taken.
"I'm actually interested in hearing from both sides and determine what we're dealing with," McGlamry said. "I need to start in my own backyard. If there is a groundswell of support against him, there likely will be against some of the others."
McGlamry worries the direction of the commission
could scare away potential businesses and result in legal action.
"Hall County is going to end up paying huge expenses because these guys are going to start doing things and the county is going to start getting sued. It's going to be the taxpayers that end up eating the bullet on it," McGlamry said.
But Lutz said he stands behind everything he has done so far on the commission.
"These are all things I campaigned for and I discussed while in meetings in South Hall County and these are all changes that a lot of us felt like needed to be made," Lutz said. "I have heard a lot more positive than negative as far as that goes. I've been blessed with a lot of great supporters that have called and offered words of encouragement, and I've had people that I didn't have any contact with on my campaign trail send me e-mails and call me up to express their encouragement as well. A lot of people feel like these changes have been long overdue."
He said he appreciates McGlamry's right to explore the recall option, however.
"It's a difficult challenge but I certainly encourage people to get involved with the Democratic process and that is part of the process," Lutz said.
Interim Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said it is very difficult to recall an elected official. The recall process, she said, cannot begin during the elected official's first 180 days in office or last 180 days in office.
There are three steps: application for recall, recall petition and recall election.
To apply for a recall, one must pick up an application from the Hall County Elections Office and gather 100 signatures within 15 days from registered voters in the district where the official was elected.
The elections office must then verify the signatures.
"Once that's completed the petition process begins. That's where it gets to be more in depth," Sosebee said. "In that situation there has to be 30 percent of active voters and eligible voters that would have to be retrieved on that petition."
The signatures must then be verified within 30 days.
Once the signatures are verified, a recall election will be called.
"It's a pretty extensive act," Sosebee said.
Sosebee said she cannot remember a time when a recall was successfully completed.
In March, a group of residents attempted to recall Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver.
They collected the necessary signatures during the application process, but Sosebee said only 98 could be verified, ending their ability to proceed with the petition.