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Effort to recall LA Councilman Bonin must start again after missed deadline

Mike Bonin at a Los Angeles City Council meeting on August 6th, 2013.
Mae Ryan/KPCC
Mike Bonin at a Los Angeles City Council meeting on Aug. 6, 2013.

A campaign to recall Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin has missed a filing deadline and must restart the process, according to the L.A. City Clerk.

Bonin serves as the councilman for a district that includes parts of West L.A., Venice, Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. He was reelected to a second term in March with 71 percent of the vote.

The recall effort emerged in the wake of controversy surrounding several "road diets" enacted in his district over the summer. Lanes of car traffic were reduced on some streets in an effort to improve safety by either slowing car traffic, adding bike lanes or changing parking configurations.

Bonin has been a strong advocate for street safety efforts, pushing for funding and support for the city's Vision Zero program, an international initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities by focusing safety efforts on sections of streets which data show to be crash hotspots.

But after an outcry by some constituents and residents of neighboring cities over the narrowing of several roads in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, Bonin backtracked on some of the road alterations, and  lanes were restored to Vista del Mar, Culver Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard in Playa del Rey.

Backers of the Recall Bonin campaign could not be reached immediately on whether they plan to restart the process.

Bonin said it would cost about $2 million for a recall election, which would follow an election in March in which he received 71 percent of the vote. "So I’m glad to see that they didn’t qualify, and I don’t think it’s in the voters best interest to come back and give it a second try," he said. 

The official recall process was initiated with the city on Nov. 3, when the Recall Bonin campaign served the councilman with a Notice of Intention, a document that declares the effort to recall the official. 

The next step was to publish a Statement of Reasons, an explanation of the reasons for the recall effort, in a general circulation newspaper.

The Recall Bonin campaign did publish the document, but did not include a signed affidavit declaring that all of the reasons enumerated in the statement are true, as required by the city.

On Monday, the campaign was notified by the City Clerk's office that the published statement was missing the signed affidavit. Due to timeline restrictions, the campaign would have to restart the process.

The campaign must again serve the councilman with the Notice of Intent document and republish its Statement of Reasons with the signed affidavit certifying that it is true.

The campaign would then have 120 days to gather 50,000 signatures to put the recall petition on next year's ballot.

Updated Sept. 25, 2020: The threshold for a recall petition to make it to the ballot is 15% of registered voters  — in this case that was 27,000 signatures.

This story has been updated.