While the Recall Ron Aames Committee has decided to stop its effort to put the vice mayor out of office, Aames himself believes he knows the real reason why. Aames sent out a press release earlier this week to give his opinion about the recall group.
He said, “A small group of serial recallers who feel they have all the answers for how the Peoria council should vote failed to garner very many signatures for recalling me, even though they had 120 days to obtain them.
“They implied in a July 13 news release that they didn’t turn in the signatures because they were too late for this year’s November election and, therefore, a special election would need to be held later. Actually, there was still time to get them on the November ballot. The truth is they didn’t get anywhere near enough signatures.”
Aames said the group has threatened or attempted recalls in the past, including the one against Diane Douglas, a member of the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board. That was in 2010.
“I have been told that one too fell miserably short of the number of signatures needed,” Aames said.
He said the group accused him of acting in a self-serving manner “because I and three other councilmembers approved a totally legitimate redistricting map that kept all councilmembers in the district where they lived.”
Aames said, “There were several maps where I would have kept more of the citizens I had been serving, so it would have been in my self-interest to vote for one of them, but I didn’t because each of them voted someone out of their district, and I don’t believe redistricting should be used to vote a member of any body out of office.
“Also, less that 1 percent of citizens showed an interest in the redistricting process, so saying we ignored the voice of citizens when we chose the map we did is absurd. And actually about half of the citizens who did show an interest preferred the map the council selected. Their statement that the firm hired to draw the maps did not endorse the final map is absolutely false, as the firm took no position on any of the maps except to make sure they met federal guidelines, which they all did.”
Aames reiterated his stance on the recall process, saying it should be restricted to “true malfeasance on the part of elected officials.”
He said it should not be used to unseat someone because they voted differently than on a matter.
“Our democratic system is damaged when citizens file for a recall at the drop of a hat,” Aames said. “I am popular among the citizens I represent because I think of citizen needs first, including neighborhood and school needs. The fact that I received nearly $4,000 of unsolicited funds from citizens to oppose the recall is proof of this and proof that recalls are despised by most citizens and seen as misguided temper tantrums.”