Legislation scheduled to be introduced today by Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo would make it easier to recall a mayor or other elected official, currently a long and formidable process. DeAngelo’s bill would allow residents to recall a mayor or any other elected official earlier in the official’s term than is currently allowed. More important, the bill would lower the number of petition signatures needed to force a special election that could boot an official from office. The assemblyman called current recall procedures “daunting” and said residents shouldn’t face nearly impossible hurdles to remove a politician they feel isn’t worthy of the job.
“The recall process should not be such an intimidating procedure that the residents throw up their hands and become resigned to the fact that their representative does not serve them effectively,” DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) said. DeAngelo said his recall bill has been in the works for months. It took shape in the aftermath of the failed recall effort of Trenton Mayor Tony Mack. It is not a direct response to the Bencivengo corruption probe, DeAngelo said. “It’s not a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “We didn’t just put this together quickly. We put a lot of thought into it.”