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By Brian Hews
Three Commerce City council members have been served with official recall papers this week from a group of community residents who claim that city hall has “grown to benefit its elected leaders instead of doing the work of the people.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Councilwoman Tina Baca Del Rio, Mayor Pro Tem Lela Leon, and Councilman Ivan Altamirano where served recall petitions from a group of residents who have been long time critics of the current city council majority that also includes Mayor Joe Aguilar.
Jamie Valencia, who has ran for city council on four different occasions told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper that the recall effort has been in motion for the past several weeks.
“The residents are tired that the city has not progressed. We have had enough of the political games, and now we need a city council that will represent the best interests of the community and not their personal lives,” Valencia said in an interview.
Another supporter of the recall is longtime Commerce resident Mike Alvarado, who said that he has “grown tired of the lack of leadership” coming from the current city council.
“There is a lot of unhappiness that I have witnessed in being active here in Commerce,” Alvarado, who previous served as a city commission for four years under the appointment of Leon who is one of the recall targets.
Alvarado said that he was given “an ultimatum” to support Baca Del Rio, Altamirano and Leon during the campaign this past March in which all three were narrowly reelected over three underfunded candidates including Valencia, Art Gonzalez, and Joanna Flores.
Baca Del Rio and Altamirano were served with the “intent to recall” papers after the conclusion of a heated city council meeting (see additional article) on Tuesday.
Leon did not attend the city council meeting because due to a previously scheduled hip replacement surgery she underwent this week. Leon was served with by recall organizers at City Hall late Wednesday afternoon.
Valencia said the recall process will take at least the next three months, and claims to have at least twenty residents involved.
“My biggest concern is that the residents, businesses, and employees have been neglected by this current city council,” Alvarado said.
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