BRUNSWICK — With his sights on the 2016 mayoral election, Eric Beasley has dropped an effort to recall Mayor Karin Tome now that she has dropped a proposed trash collection program.
“Pay-as-you-throw has become an election issue,” Beasley said Thursday.
He started the recall petition two months ago when Tome pressed for the city to consider changing the waste collection program to one that would charge users by the bag. Beasley suspended the petition drive after Tome announced Tuesday that the city will put discussion of the pay-as-you-throw refuse collection alternative on hold.
Beasley said he and seven friends managed to get 90 signatures of the required 171 to recall the mayor.
Tome said Tuesday that, despite her interest in the program as a way to save taxpayer money and charge users for the trash they produce, the suspicion and misinformation about the program had outpaced her ability to educate the public about it.
“What I heard is she’s going to make pay-as-you-throw an election issue,” Beasley said. “We’re going to roll this over into the 2016 mayoral election.”
Beasley said neither he nor any of the original seven petitioners intends to run for mayor, but he has a candidate in mind.
The recall and pay-as-you-throw furor were not helping the city make progress in other areas, Tome and Councilman Harry Lashley said. Positive efforts in economic development, and park and museum upgrades were getting overshadowed by the negative publicity around the recall, Lashley said.
He would also like to set a higher standard for a recall; to recall the mayor in Brunswick, a petition must be signed by 25 percent of the number of all votes cast in the previous mayoral election.
“Right now, the recall petition is on hold, just as pay-as-you-throw is,” Beasley said. “We’re not going to stop as far as accountability of elected officials goes.”
During public comment at Tuesday’s council meeting, resident Christopher Vigliotti received a round of applause expressing support for the job Tome is doing. Looking at Beasley, Vigliotti warned those who might recall and replace Tome that they too could be recalled.
“I have half the signatures needed to recall you right now,” Vigliotti said.