Voters in the tiny city of Point Arena On the Mendocino county coast have replaced four of their city council members in a recall election.
One of the recalled city council members, Eloisa Oropeza, along with her husband, Terry Hughey - the only one not being recalled — already had quit the council, leaving it short one member.
Unofficial results of the mail-ballot special election, released Wednesday<NO1><NO> morning, also have Mayor Lauren Sinnott and council members Joe Riboli and David Ingham being voted off the council.
Oropeza, who is Native American, stepped down shortly after the recall effort began, citing threats and verbal assaults that included the "N" word.
The new council members are Brian Riehl, Trevor Sanders, Douglas Burkey and Lloyd Cross. Riehl is a bartender and former council member who quit last year.
He was replaced by Hughey. Sanders also is a bartender, Burkey works for the school district and Cross is an accountant, according to city officials.
The new council members could not be reached for comment.
The recall election split the city of 450, which already was suffering from ongoing disputes that resulted in several council resignations.
The recall created further rifts and even cases of vandalism. Mayor Lauren Sinnott's home was targeted with toilet paper, city officials said.
One hundred and fifty two of the city's 255 registered voters cast ballots in the election, according to the Mendocino County election's office.
The number of votes for and against each candidate varied, with Sinnott receiving the most ouster votes — 98. She received 52 votes of support and will be replaced by Burkey.
The recall petitioners had a list of complaints against the sitting council members, ranging from allegations of dishonesty to being unprepared.
The newly ousted members have said the recall was based on misinformation and that the recall petitioners are the ones who are dishonest. Development issues, marijuana cultivation, personality conflicts and moral standards have been factors in the battle for control of the city, which incorporated in 1908.
City Administrator Hunter Alexander said she's hoping city residents and council members can set aside their animosities. She said the outgoing council has spent countless hours trying to improve the city, for which they are paid $75 a month.
It's an apparently thankless job that nobody filed to run for in November. The two vacancies were filled by appointment.
"I hope everyone respects and are polite and courteous to those who are stepping down and polite and courteous to those who are stepping up," Alexander said.