Councilman Recall Effort Fails

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Following months of campaigning on both sides of a divisive recall effort in Newport Beach, officials have found the petition to be short by about 100 valid signatures.

The petition to recall City Councilman Scott Peotter had an insufficient amount of signatures (by 106 signatures), confirmed City Clerk Leilani Brown on Wednesday.

Peotter was elected to City Council in 2014 to represent district 6, which covers Corona del Mar.

Scott Peotter
— Indy file photo by Sara Hall ©

Members of the Committee to Recall Scott Peotter served him notice during an April council meeting.

The group submitted their signed recall petition on Oct. 27. It took about two and half hours for city staff to count the 10,688 signatures. The County of Orange Registrar of Voters had 30 business days to verify signatures.  

More than 2,100 signatures were found invalid for various reasons. About 200 of them were rescinding signatures from Peotter.

Recall proponents needed 15 percent of registered Newport Beach voters, or 8,445 valid signatures. The clerk verified 8,339.

Peotter was pleased with the outcome and thankful the voters didn’t “believe the falsehoods and lies,” he wrote in an email on Wednesday.

“I feel really blessed right now, and feel like I have received an early Christmas gift,” Peotter wrote.

Despite the several months of trying to collect signatures by petition proponents, it still failed to find enough support, he noted.  And a special election would have been held only a few months before he runs for re-election anyway, Peotter pointed out.

He is glad he can fully concentrate on his work as a councilman now, he added.

For their reasoning, the recall group cited Peotter’s support of the Museum House residential tower project and other development in Newport Beach, not conducting himself in a civil manner, not respecting the law, and insulting his colleagues, constituents, and other officials, among other issues.

Recall Committee member Susan Skinner said they are disappointed with the outcome, although the effort did help spread their message.

“I think we’ve done a lot to raise awareness to Mr. Peotter’s deficiencies,” Skinner said on Wednesday. “It has opened people’s eyes.”

The number of signatures they collected still sends a message, added Recall Committee member Lynn Swain in an email on Wednesday.

“In any case it is a profound repudiation of Peotter and his policies,” Swain wrote.

The voters that signed the petition will still be voting in November during the regular election, Skinner pointed out.

“The 8,339 will still be around in November and so will I,” Swain noted.

The group is “having conversations” about their options, including meeting with the registrar and possibly requesting a recount. They are contemplating their next move, both confirmed.

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  1. “The petition to recall City Councilman Scott Peotter had an insufficient amount of signatures (by 106 signatures), confirmed City Clerk Leilani Brown on Wednesday.”

    The man is crowing about narrowly missing a recall of voters by 106 votes? Seriously?, does this not tell the voters of Newport how far out of touch he and his “advisors” (Dave Ellis and Bob McCaffery) are?.
    Nothing’s over until it’s OVER, And my bet is on the recall committee and the voters of Newport Beach.
    Start packing Scott.