Mayoral Recall Efforts Fail to Reach Needed Signatures

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After a month of collecting signatures, the Grand Island mayoral recall effort has failed. Recall leader Jeb Wolsleben says he had about 3109 signatures, just 177 short of the 3286 needed.

People were still coming out to sign the petition on Friday, but it just wasn't enough. However, Wolsleben says his efforts are not in vain.

"I think that should send a message to the mayor as far as, it's time for him to operate business differently, to see this as a wake-up call, to basically change directions as far as the city is going," he says.

The mayoral recall effort officially got underway September 14, 2012. Wolsleben manned a booth at the Grand Island Public Library, and volunteers also assisted in collecting signatures elsewhere.

"People have always been very supportive, so that's always nice," says Wolsleben.

Wolsleben cited Mayor Jay Vavricek's decision to keep city administrator Mary Lou Brown despite the city council's objections as one of the reasons for the recall. It's a reason that resonated with many Grand Island residents.

"Not taking matters up with city council, just taking matters into his own hands, that isn't really the way we do business in politics," says resident Jay Engle.

And even without a special recall election, supporters say they will take their opinions to the polls should the mayor seek reelection.

"We'll probably just wait until the next election when his term comes up and we'll deal with it then," says Engle.

10/11 News tried to speak with the mayor on Friday, but he declined, saying only that he is continuing to monitor the situation.