Still no candidate in running for Ireland’s seat |

Still no candidate in running for Ireland’s seat

Allyn Harvey

County Commissioner Mick Ireland will definitely face the voters in a recall election this summer, but it’s still an open question whether anyone will be seeking his seat.

Ireland has been the focus of a recall drive since mid-February, and last Thursday, his opponents turned in the final 33 signatures needed to force an election.

County elections clerk Angela Rishella said she had validated the signatures and an election to decide the two-term commissioner’s fate will be held on Aug. 8. “I stopped counting at 41,” she said. “I needed a few extra to allow for disqualifications.”

The election will be Ireland’s fourth in six years – he’s been elected twice in general elections and survived a recall election in 1996, shortly after the county adopted zoning that reduced development potential in the backcountry.

So far, according to Rishella, no one has picked up the petitions that need to be filled out in order to qualify as a replacement candidate in the August election.

“Anyone who wants to be a replacement candidate has until June 8 to get the 100 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, and at this point I don’t know of anyone who is out there petitioning,” Rishella said.

The recallers have said they don’t plan to furnish a replacement candidate. In the event Ireland loses, the recallers say they’re counting on his fellow county commissioners to appoint an acceptable replacement.

Ireland and his supporters have said land use is at the heart of this latest recall drive, just as it was in 1996. The effort to oust him began just a few weeks after the county adopted a six-month moratorium on development applications for large homes to allow time to adopt new land-use rules.

But Ireland’s opponents say the recall is about manners. They say he has mistreated some people who have come before the county commissioners.

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