Petition drive seeks Tony Peterson’s removal from council

By Seth Schmidt

A citizen recall petition has been started with the goal of removing Tracy City Councilman Tony Peterson from office.
The petition drive seeks the signatures of 130 city residents, which would represent 20% of the people who voted in the 2014 city mayoral election. Section 5.02 of Tracy City Charter requires the 20% signature threshold for a recall petition referendum to remove an elected official.
The petition drive was started early last week. Rosemary Martin is one of the organizers. The petition alleges violations of city code and the city’s code of ethics as grounds for Peterson’s removal from office:
• “Issuing orders directly to city employees.”
• “Attempting to exercise administrative authority and independently conduct city affairs without council approval.”
• “Interacting with city employees and members of the public in a manner which is verbally abusive and physically threatening, creating a hostile atmosphere for city constituents and a hostile workplace for city employees.”
• “Exceeding his authority…and being uncooperative with the City Administrator.”
Shirley Anderson, another citizen involved in the petition drive, said last week that the recall effort began prior to City Administrator Madonna Peterson’s resignation. She said that Administrator Peterson had nothing to do with the petition drive.
Martin explained the rationale for the recall effort, in the public comment period of the council’s Tuesday night, Sept. 19, meeting.
“I started this because it is what is right for the city of Tracy. Tony Peterson has shown a pattern of exceeding his authority and abusing his position for as long as he has been in elected office.
“The recent problems between Tony Peterson and Madonna Peterson are the tipping point. As a concerned citizen, I don’t want the legal troubles that are certain to stem from Tony Peterson’s continued misuse of his elected office. I am interested in doing what is right for the city by protecting citizens and the city employees…”

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.