Recall effort started against new councilman - KCTV5

Recall effort started against new councilman

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© Eric Chaloux/KCTV5 © Eric Chaloux/KCTV5

Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed just took office in May.

But one of his election opponents is beginning an effort to recall him.

Michael Fletcher had pledged a recall effort against the election winner after the courts yanked him off the ballot this spring because he lived in California, not Kansas City.

He and representatives of several community and faith groups announced Friday morning their plan to seek Reed's recall. But other community leaders say Reed is an energetic and effective leader.

Among the criticisms of Reed is that he is not doing enough to stop the construction of a new crime lab in east Kansas City, which will force about 60 residents to relocate. Reed's lack of seasoning is also in question as well as how much time and tax dollars he has spent traveling.

He graduated from Northeast High School in 2002. He graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia a few years later.

The group has posted "Recall Reed" signs along Prospect Avenue.

Community leader Rachel Riley said she believes the group will be able to get the necessary 1,633 signatures to force a recall election.

"We are getting the necessary signatures it will take to actually do it," Riley said.

The Rev. Henderson Bell said Reed's lack of political experience is hurting inner-city residents.

"We are literally being pushed around because we have a novice in office," Bell said. "He certainly seems to have so much respect for the system until he is not effective in challenging the things that need to work best for those in our community."

Reed shrugged off the recall effort.

"I'm frankly not concerned about any recall effort," he said. "I am laser focused on adding the needs and concerns of the citizens in the Third District and that is creating jobs and economic development opportunities."

Community leader Clinton Adams Jr., an attorney who successfully fought to get Fletcher off the ballot, said there are no "factual, legal or political" reasons to recall Reed. He said it is a misguided effort.

"As an engaged lifelong resident of the Third District, I can assure you that there is little, if any, community support for this folderol or for the small group behind it," he said. "They should stop whining and do something constructive to help our representatives address the maladies affecting the Third District."

Adams said Reed is responsive to constituents. He praised him as an energetic and effective leader.

"He is not guilty of any malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance," Adams said. "Political differences are not valid basis for a recall. If that were the case, those of us who disagree with the mayor (Sly James) over his proposal to take over the KCMSD would be circulating petitions. That notion is ridiculous as is this recall talk. Jermaine is doing a good job and should be allowed to do his job." 

Adams said this is a mindless distraction that will be squashed.

Some had talked about an effort to recall Reed's predecessor, Sharon Sanders Brooks, but a formal effort never was launched.

A group of citizens fell just 125 signatures short in the spring of 2009 to force a recall election of then Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

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