The group targeting La Crosse Common Council president Audrey Kader for recall said Friday they already have enough signatures from her district to force a special election.
Restore La Crosse Committee members gathered about 250 signatures over three nights this week in District 11, organizer Greg Luce said. Only 158 are needed to trigger the recall vote.
“It wasn’t hard at all,” Luce said, adding “They want her gone.”
They plan to continue the petition drive, however, for additional weeks to exceed the 275 votes Kader received running unopposed in 2011. They have up to 60 days.
The group also wants to delay submitting the petitions long enough to have a late January vote rather than having the special election fall during the holidays, Luce said.
The group launched the recall drive Sept. 21, saying Kader lacks leadership and “has failed to provide direction to the mayor.”
Kader said she has reached out to the mayor but added Friday, “I’m not elected to provide guidance to the mayor, I’m elected to represent my constituents.”
In a press release Friday, a Restore La Crosse group member reportedly told one petition signer that, “Thanks to Audrey Kader you can now get a $170 ticket for not having lids on your trash cans when you put them out.”
Kader, though, cast one of two no votes against the city’s new refuse and recycling regulations that require trash be placed in a container with a lid. She also sought to have the regulations delayed six months while the city works on a new trash collection contract that would start in 2014.
Asked about the apparent misrepresentation, Luce said Kader still presided over the council that set the trash rules and other “arbitrary” policies such as the new sign regulations and plans to charge for parking in the downtown ramps.
They started with Kader because “she’s obviously the easiest one to dislike on the whole council,” but Luce added, “We are targeting them all.”
The group also supposedly had a Franciscan nun who referred to Kader as “an ass” in signing the petition, according to its press release.
The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s St. Rose Convent, 912 Market St., is in Kader’s district. The FSPA had no response Friday to Restore La Crosse’s comments.
Kader said Friday she’s been buoyed by a wave of encouragement since the recall effort began and remains confident she still has support in her district.
“It’s a horrendous mess, a waste of time and money and demoralizing for everybody,” she said.