Last week, a group seeking to recall Mountain Home Mayor Rich Sykes formally submitted their petition to the city clerk. This began a process of verifying signatures and voter registration status. The latter task was undertaken by the Elmore County Election Clerk.
Following the completion of these verifications, a letter was issued informing those seeking the recall that they had 75 days (June 16, 2020, to August 31, 2020) to collect 1,256 signatures.
That number is 20 percent of the 6,277 qualified electors registered to vote within the city during the 2019 general election.
A Facebook Page promoting the recall has so far garnered 127 “Likes.”
The recall petition accuses the mayor of violating “freedom of speech” and “the right of assembly.” It also accuses him of misappropriating funds to build a private gym under the disguise of a training range for law enforcement” and then using “the facility while all other gyms in the city were ordered closed.”
It goes on to say, “Rich Sykes has proven to be arrogant in power and comfortable removing our constitutional rights.”
The claim in the recall petition regarding violating freedom of speech goes on to reference a controversy involving a “Last Chance Confidence Agreement” (see images below) that was sent to city firefighters in April of this year. The agreement demanded that they either resign or agree to a slate of demands including a promise to “never discuss or comment on any matter of disagreement between Firefighters of the Fire Department with the public, family, or any other person who is not a Firefighter with the Fire Department.”
Concerns have also been expressed about Sykes appointing himself to the Mountain Home Library Board.
A poll regarding the recall was recently posted on Mountain Home News. As of the publication of this article, 60% of those polled said they believed the recall effort would gather enough signatures to get a recall of Mayor Sykes onto the ballot.
Tags: Elmore County, Mountain Home, Rich Sykes