Recall election nears

In two weeks, City of Tracy voters will determine whether City Councilman Tony Peterson should be recalled from office.

The special recall election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13, with polling hours at Tracy City Hall from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Absentee ballots have been available to qualified city voters since Dec. 29, and can be picked up at City Hall.  Requests can also be made to have absentee ballots mailed directly to a city resident’s home address.

Absentee ballots can be obtained at City Hall during regular office hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10, and until 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 12.  Absentee ballots can be returned to City Hall up until Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m.

Voters will be asked to determine a single “yes” or “no” question, of whether Councilman Peterson should be removed from office.

A citizen petition, signed by 130 city residents last fall and validated by the council in October, charges Peterson with four violations of city code as grounds for his recall from office.  The petition alleges that Councilman Peterson violated city code by 1) “Issuing orders directly to city employees,” 2) “Attempting to exercise administrative authority and independently conducting city affairs without council approval,” 3) “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,” and 4) “Exceeding his authority” and being “uncooperative” with the city administrator.

Peterson has denied the charges.  A statement from Peterson responding to the allegations is published on Page 13.

A statement from the committee that organized the recall petition appears on page three.

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As of late December, there were 1,020 eligible voters in Tracy.  State law allows for election-day registration, as long as you have been a resident of Tracy for at least 20 days, be at least 18 years old, on Election Day, and be a U.S. Citizen.  Proof of residency can be a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, ID or receipt; Tribal ID, or a photo ID and document with current name and address.

More information on voter eligibility and registration is available at Tracy City Hall or by calling City Hall at 629-5528.