Petition has enough signatures to have item placed on November ballot
The Solvang City Council will meet Monday and revisit an effort to recall City Council member Chris Djernaes.
During its meeting, the council will discuss a resolution which calls for the recall of Mr. Djernaes to be placed on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. This will mark the second time the council has discussed a petition calling for Mr. Djernaes to be removed after the first petition failed because of an insufficient amount of signatures, according to acting city manager Xenia Bradford.
According to the staff report for Monday’s meeting, 1,342 signatures were submitted to the city clerk on July 20, with a recall petition of Mr. Djernaes filed with the county. All signatures for the latest petition were examined to the county records, and following the examination the County Clerk, Recorder and Assessor Elections Division verified that 1,156 signatures were valid. The minimum number of required signatures for a recall petition is 920. The certificate was received Friday, according to officials.
Of the 186 signatures that were found to be invalid, 47 were registered voters at a different address, 40 were not registered voters, 37 were outside the voting district, 19 did not provide an address and 12 were duplicated. Other issues included signatures that did not match, were unable to be identified or were registered late, according to the staff report.
The original petition accuses Mr. Djernaes of contempt of the Brown Act; violation of ethics; disrespect of constituents, speakers, voters and current and former City Council members; defamation of organizations and individuals; and harassment of city employees.
Residents also allege Mr. Djernaes plan to implement large scale development will be detrimental to the city.
“If Djernaes remains in office until the completion of his term in 2022, the inevitable result will be a diminished quality of life and increased taxes for the residents of Solvang,” read the notice of intention to circulate the original recall petition.
As the News-Press reported last month, Mr. Djernaes has rejected what he considers “specious accusations” against him and said that none of the allegations have been proven.
“If they were legitimate complaints, the council or city attorney would have already acted on them,” he told the News-Press in a June 26 story.
Mr. Djernaes previously said he would not resign.
The city will provide both remote and in-person participation options for Monday’s meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Council Chambers, at 1644 Oak St. The meeting will also be streamed live at www.cityofsolvang.com/youtube.
For more information on how to participate, visit www.cityofsolvang.com.