UPDATE: Community members turn in signatures asking for recall of Douglas mayor

Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe says he is fully committed to finishing his term.  (Source: Tucson...
Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe says he is fully committed to finishing his term. (Source: Tucson News Now)
Published: Feb. 26, 2019 at 5:04 PM MST
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DOUGLAS, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Douglas city clerk's office received 61 petitions on Tuesday, Feb. 26 with 808 signatures, asking for the recall of Douglas Mayor Robert Uribe.

According to the clerk’s office, a minimum of 569 verified signatures are needed to move forward with the recall effort. The city clerk’s office has 10 days to review the petitions and certify the signatures. After that the next step is to send the petitions to the Cochise County Recorder’s office, which would then have 60 days to verify the signatures and then report back to the city clerk in Douglas.

Community members say the border city of Douglas is broken and Mayor Uribe is to blame.

“You are hereby given a vote of no confidence by your constituents. You are no longer a trusted public figure and you do not represent us," Tanya Duarte said.

Duarte asked the mayor to resign during a City Council meeting Wednesday evening, Feb. 13. She wasn’t the only one to stand up and share concerns.

“Mayor Uribe, you have gone on an irresponsible spending spree, enough," retired Douglas Fire Chief Mario Novoa said.

Duarte is leading the petition for a mayoral recall election. 569 valid signatures are needed for a petition to prompt a recall election. Duarte said she has more than 800.

“During the past several months I have grown more disgusted by the actions of the mayor and some council members than I ever thought possible," Duarte said.

Concerns include financial instability, a lack of transparency and a number of posts and alleged “attacks” on social media. In conversation over an agenda item to spend money on a Title VII investigation, Ward 1 Council Member Margaret Morales said the city is $300,000 in debt.

“Mayor, you call people instigators and trolls on your social media page. A mayor should not act in that manner," Novoa said.

A lot of the frustration comes from a decision to not renew the city manager’s contract. In a statement, Uribe said the decision was made, in part, because he did not meet performance expectations.

Dear #DouglasAZ, There have been unanswered questions about the departure of Jim Russell. I would like you to have the...

Posted by Robert Uribe on Friday, February 1, 2019

“I am a man of integrity and I have given Douglas my very best," Uribe said.

Duarte and Novoa both called for the mayor to resign from his position immediately, instead of costing the city money for a recall election.

“If your claim is to do what is best for the city, you will resign," Duarte said.

But Mayor Uribe said he isn’t going anywhere.

“I will not resign,” Uribe said.

Uribe’s term expires in 2020. He is the youngest elected official to serve the community.

Council approved a motion to hire an outside law firm for a Title VII investigation. Duarte told KOLD News 13 that the investigation is due to the complaint of harassment made by a city employee that included allegations about the former city manager.

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