FREMONT — Efforts to recall Fremont's mayor and council members over their roles in a failed effort to repeal the ordinance that bars property owners from renting homes to immigrants living in the country illegally have been dropped.
But LaVern Kucera said he intends to renew the recall drives next year. To continue this year would have forced circulators to work in cold weather, Kucera said, making it tougher to gather enough signatures to force an election. He needs at least 3,526 valid signatures on petitions against Mayor Scott Getzschman.
In his original filing on Sept. 24, Kucera said Getzschman tried to stop implementation of the ordinance, causing residents to vote twice on it. Kucera called Getzschman's actions a "dereliction of duty."
Getzschman told the newspaper after the filing that, "as mayor, you deal with hundreds of issues weekly, and Mr. Kucera is only looking at one."
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Voters approved a broad ordinance containing the housing restriction in June 2010. This past February, they turned down an effort to repeal the housing portion. A provision that wasn't up for voters' reconsideration requires employers to use a federal online system to check whether prospective employees are permitted to work in the U.S.
In the filing against Council Member Larry Johnson, Kucera accused council members of using "scare tactics" and misleading residents in order to gain support for the repeal. Recall paperwork filed Sept. 29 by Chester Cymboluk against Council Member Michael Kuhns used the same language. Cymboluk has dropped his effort for now, too.
Kucera said that he also will be targeting council members Kevin Eairleywine and Jennifer Bixby for recall.
Kucera ran unsuccessfully against Getzschman and three other candidates for mayor in 2012, and ran for a City Council seat in 2014. He was defeated in the primary election both times. Kucera has said his recall efforts were prompted by the two public votes on the immigrant ordinance, not because of any "sour grapes" stemming from his electoral losses.