Anonymous group calls for recall of Ventnor mayor

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VENTNOR – Voters here received an anonymous letter asking if they would support a recall election to remove Mayor Mike Bagnell from office.

Most residents received an envelope Thursday, July 25 stamped with the words, “Recall Mayor Bagnell.”

Inside the envelope was a letter announcing the unnamed voters group to recall Bagnell.

“We are a group of 20 voters who met a month ago, pooled information from hundreds of dissatisfied fellow residents and decided to take action,” the letter reads. “Before we even file a formal petition, we want to know in advance that a recall would be overwhelmingly supported.”

Bagnell was sworn in as mayor May 15, 2012 after winning the May 8 nonpartisan municipal election alongside incumbent Mayor Theresa Kelly and newly elected Commissioner Frank Sarno.

Included with the letter was a separate sheet of bullet points of why Bagnell should be recalled, a survey and an envelope to return the survey. The only information the group provided was an email address, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and P.O. Box 2504 in Ventnor.

Requests to identify and interview representatives of the group through its provided email went unreturned.

Bagnell said the letter was not going to distract him.

“I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing for the past 14 months,” Bagnell said Friday, July 26. “We have too much neglected infrastructure that has been neglected for 30-40 years and also neglected for the past decade. We still have to move Ventnor into the 21st century.”

He said the points in the letter are either baseless or untrue. For example, the letter states that there was no official communication from the city for 72 hours following Hurricane Sandy, and in that time, Margate City officials sent six automated calls to residents.

Bagnell said communications in the city, including cell phone service, were down for days and since there was a mandatory evacuation of the island, the calls would have done little good to those who left home.

“Everything in the letter is either a complete lie or distortion,” Bagnell said.

According to state statute, a recall may be commenced after the 50th day of the first year of the first term of office and requires signatures of 25 percent of the registered voters in the town - 1,640 signatures.  The recall group would have 160 days after filing the petition to collect the signatures.

A total 2,176 machine votes were cast out of 6,561 registered voters in the May 8 election.

To see copies of the information sent to Ventnor voters and to comment see downbeachcurrent.com. 

     


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