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Muskego Recalls: Validity is Unclear, and Timetable Sets Up Summer Election

Clerk's office will confer with legal counsel to determine if recall papers are legitimate; in the meantime, groups will gather to collect signatures. If all is OK, here are some numbers to consider.

The group pushing for a recall of Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and two aldermen has turned in the paperwork needed to launch the effort and now has 60 days to collect enough signatures of force an election.

Muskego for Ethical Government registered with the city on Thursday to . The group wants to remove the three from office because they opposed holding a referendum on whether to purchase land for a park on Little Muskego Lake.

But City Clerk Jill Blenski said there are some questions over whether the group filed the paperwork correctly.

The group initially filed as a political action committee when papers were submitted for the on the lake park issue. However, Blenski said the new filings for recalls indicate that Muskego for Ethical Government is a recall committee, which is a change she is unsure can be made.

Until the city gets a legal opinion on whether the paperwork is sound, Blenski  said officials will wait before setting specific deadline dates for the recall group.

"We are hoping to review the paperwork with legal counsel as the group has amended their campaign registration," she explained.

Even though the city is still reviewing that issue, the recall petition drive will get under way Friday as group members will be out along Janesville Road near the to collect signatures.

According to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, recall petitioners have 60 days after registering with the clerk's office to collect the required signatures. Once the signatures are submitted, the city will have 31 days to verify the signatures and determine if the petition is sufficient.

Officials who are the subject of the recall have 10 days from the time the clerk's office receives the petition to dispute any signatures.

If a recall petition is deemed insufficient, petitioners have five days to respond and correct the problems, and once back with the clerk's office, two more days are allowed to review the changes.

On the date the petition is verified and considered "sufficient," a recall election would be held on the Tuesday of the sixth weeks thereafter.

So, under these rules, if the maximum amount of time is taken and no challenges are made, the estimated date for a recall election would be Aug. 7.

To force an election, the number of valid signatures must equal at least 25 percent of the number of votes cast in the 2010 governor's race in the same district or jurisdiction as that of the officeholder targeted for recall.

For Chiaverotti, that represents about 3,000 signatures. For Werner, who represents the 4th District, about 350 signatures would be needed, and  Schaumberg, who represents the 6th Distict, the number is 430.

Chiaverotti's term expires in April 2014; both Werner and Schaumberg are up for re-election in April of 2013.

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