Newton Falls – Residents of the 44444 will have an opportunity to visit the polls once again in the second special election since the regular voting season concluded in November.
Last Friday afternoon, the council members met during a special meeting at the community center to designate a date for another recall election. Last November, then-mayor Patrick Layshock was removed from office by a closely split vote and replaced by the current mayor Lyle Waddell. This time around the man in question is James Luonuansuu, representative for the Fourth Ward who has held the seat just over a year. Petitions concerning the councilman’s possible exit have been circulating since around the time the former mayor was ousted. The Board of Elections verified the signatures and instructed the city to set a date for the election, suggesting February 8th since that date would save Newton Falls some money.
At the special meeting, Councilwoman Johnson questioned the need to set a date now because she had “heard through the grapevine” about a possible appeal to the Board’s verification being filed. Mayor Waddell replied that there had been none filed to his knowledge, nor any official paperwork presently on the table, so there was no reason not to proceed.
Councilwoman Hoffman and Councilman Zamecnik made the motion to set the date as suggested by the Board for February 8th. Councilman Monteville voted in the affirmative as well, and Councilwoman Johnson was the single vote against.
The special election for the possible recall of Fourth Ward representative James Luonuansuu will be February 8th.
As in the November mayoral recall election, voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against the recall itself and then to vote for a replacement candidate should Mr. Luonuansuu indeed be recalled. One such candidate vying for the Fourth Ward seat is Phillip Beer, one of the residents responsible for leading the recall effort. Mr. Luonuansuu has told other media outlets that when he was voted into office over a year ago, in fact then beating out Mr. Beer, it was by a solid majority so he feels the same support is likely. Mr. Beer, however, had been a write-in vote at that time and he is hopeful the outcome will be different next month when his name is actually listed on the ballot.
Council meetings are currently held at the Community Center on Quarry Street, the first and third Monday of each month at 6pm. Due to the upcoming holiday, the second meeting of January will be held Tuesday the 18th. The public is welcome to attend or can tune into the local access channel for the televised proceedings.