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Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler recall drive still in limbo

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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An important deadline has passed for proponents of a threatened recall drive against Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler. But a spokesman for the group Save Granite Bay said the recall move is still on. The organization had served Uhler in mid-August with its intention of filing a recall petition – setting up a 21-day window for the necessary documents to be turned in and OK’d by last Tuesday with the county elections division. That could have allowed for circulation of a recall petition circulation. The group would have to come up with 8,000 signatures from registered voters in Uhler’s District 4. Instead, Will Ellis, a founder of Save Granite Bay, said that the group now plans to start the process over again by serving Uhler a second time. But the group hasn’t yet come up with a specific date to begin another recall process, he said. Ellis said the re-filing would remain relatively the same – although the group no longer has a major component of its recall argument as part of its platform. Shortly after Uhler was served, he and other supervisors agreed on a low-impact Granite Bay Community Plan process instead of a $750,000 major revamp Save Granite Bay was opposed to. Uhler said that he hasn’t heard from the group since meeting with some members in late August. That meeting led to a reconsideration of the recall drive but Save Granite Bay members emerged from subsequent talks resolved to move forward. The Granite Bay group still has concerns about the community plan, including possible development buildout numbers, Ellis said. Uhler said that before being served in August and then finally meeting with the group, he had attempted to sit down with Save Granite Bay leaders to talk over differences. He’s still hoping for that line of communication to stay open, he said. “If we talked four months ago, a lot of this would have been addressed,” Uhler said. “It wouldn’t hurt for them to pick up the phone and call me so we can sit down and talk.” The recall petition touches on several controversies Uhler’s name has been attached to, including what Save Granite Bay says are "questionable county contracts" Uhler benefited from as an executive with Solar Power Inc. and a move by the county to hire Uhler’s wife last year to an unadvertised managerial post. Uhler has consistently denied any wrongdoing or involvement. ------------------------------------- This clarification was published in the Sept. 14 edition of the Auburn Journal: A story in Friday’s Auburn Journal on the status of a drive to recall Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler stated that Save Granite Bay’s recall petition touches on what the group describes as “questionable county contracts with Solar Power Inc. while Uhler was an executive there.” Save Granite Bay’s letter of intent for a recall petition states its grounds for the recall include “Uhler … benefited from questionable county contracts as vice president of government relations of Solar Power Inc.” Uhler said Solar Power Inc. and the county entered into a single contract before he joined the Placer Board of Supervisors. This online story was changed to reflect the clarification information.