ESCONDIDO — The organizers behind a petition to recall Escondido Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz from office missed the June 18 deadline to collect adequate signatures, invalidating the petition.
The recall effort was formed in response to the City Council voting districts established in Escondido late last year as the result of a court order. The upcoming November election will be the first time the districts will be utilized.
Through the districting process that incorporated public input, Diaz became the representative for District 3, which covers portions of the central and southeastern portions of the city.
The petitioners objected to having Diaz as their representative.
“We never got a chance to elect who was assigned to us,” said Robroy Fawcett, one of the organizers of the petition.
The recall effort was initiated this January when Diaz was served a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition.
“The voters of the Third District deserve a voice NOW in who represents them on the City Council,” the notice said.
“I think the recall process was some form of lashing out against districts. But there wasn’t ever any accusation of me not being a good representative,” Diaz said.
Organizers wanted to have the recall vote included on the November ballot and not as a special election, according to Fawcett.
They needed to collect signatures from 20 percent of registered voters in District 3, a total of 2,813 signatures according to Escondido City Clerk Diane Halverson.
But they ultimately were not able to get enough signatures.
“It was hard to find registered voters, it’s a small district,” Fawcett explained.
They had 120 days to collect the needed signatures, but the petition was not turned in to the city by the deadline on June 18 at 5 p.m.
Diaz said she is relieved that the recall process is over.
“I’m glad it’s over and I move on,” she said Wednesday night. “I thought my time spent running for mayor was more important than trying to fight a recall that was unjustified.”