A Fremont man has initiated a recall effort against Mayor Scott Getzschman.
LaVern J. Kucera filed a recall affidavit Wednesday in the Dodge County Clerk’s office.
“The issue is the law,” Kucera wrote in a statement filed at the clerk’s office. “Ignoring it, choosing to look away is the mayor’s action. Law violated by immigrants. Getschman [sic] says too expensive to uphold. Would be bad for City. He has tried to stop implication of the law causing the people to vote twice on ordinance. Acting like Master, not servant of constituents. ‘Dereliction of Duty’, people upset!”
Multiple efforts to reach Kucera by phone on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Kucera and several others began talking about recalling city elected leaders as far back as October 2013 when the council held first reading of an ordinance that would have repealed the housing portions of Fremont’s illegal-immigrant ordinance.
Second reading of the ordinance was indefinitely postponed, and the council set the matter for a public election on Feb. 11, 2014. Voters rejected the repeal 3,896 to 2,644, retaining the law.
Kucera called for recalls in a Feb. 22 letter to the editor of the Fremont Tribune, when he wrote, “In this election year we have the opportunity to replace four of the city councilmen. The other four we need to recall by petition along with the mayor.”
Council members Mark Stange and John Anderson can no longer be recalled this year because they are running for re-election. Seats held by council members Steve Navarrette and Todd Hoppe are up for re-election this year, too, but Navarrette and Hoppe are not seeking re-election.
Other current council members, whose seats are up for election in 2016, are Kevin Eairleywine in Ward 1, Larry Johnson in Ward 2, Mike Kuhns in Ward 3, and Jennifer Bixby in Ward 4.
If the mayoral recall succeeds, Bixby as council president would take over as mayor and appoint, with council approval, a new member to serve the remainder of her Ward 4 term.
Kucera, a lifelong Fremont resident, ran unsuccessfully against Getzschman and three other candidates for mayor in 2012, and ran for a Ward 2 City Council seat in 2014. He was defeated in the primary election both times, receiving 5.6 percent of the vote in the 2012 mayoral primary, and 29.8 percent in the three-person Ward 2 primary last May.
Getzschman was aware of the recall affidavit Thursday, but had not yet received official notification. When he does, he will have 20 days to submit a statement of defense. Then the clerk's office has 20 days to prepare recall petitions.
Circulators will have 30 days to gather the necessary 3,526 valid signatures (35 percent of the votes cast in the mayor’s race in 2012).
Clerk Fred Mytty would have 15 days to verify the petitions. If petitioners are successful, the governing body must order an election within 30 to 75 days.
“The election could be canceled if the official being recalled resigns before the 16th day prior to the election,” Mytty said.
Getzschman said he was not surprised by the recall effort.
“As mayor you deal with hundreds of issues weekly, and Mr. Kucera is only looking at one. I believe my record will show that I continue to work hard each and every day to ensure we move Fremont forward with honesty and integrity,” he said.
Getzschman became mayor in November 2010, when Donald B. “Skip” Edwards stepped down. Getzschman was elected to a full term in 2012, garnering nearly 62 percent of the vote in the general election. He was a City Council member for four years before becoming mayor.