Heading toward the goal: Burke recall drive takes to the streets, social media
They claim to have more than a third of their goal achieved in one weekend. And organizers of the campaign to recall West University City Councilmember Kellye Burke have scheduled another round of circulating petitions and have set up a Facebook page to help in their effort.
“We will not stop collecting signatures until we reach our goal,” said Jay Cohen, spokesman for the group — and City Secretary Thelma Gilliam said they have until July 20 to submit petitions to put the matter on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. Cohen said more than 600 residents have signed, toward a requirement of 1,600-plus signatures — 15 percent of qualified West U voters.
The recall campaign is in response to Burke’s behavior during and after an incident on March 31 where the 50-year-old councilmember verbally used offensive language to a teenage girl wearing a Trump Make America Great Again T-shirt while the girl bought cookies with friends in a business on Edloe Street. Burke was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for her behavior, which reportedly included yelling, “Grab her by the p&$$y, girls!” a reference to a quote attributed to Trump.
As the story spread to national and international news and social media, Burke issued three apologies through attorneys, the last one at the April 9 council meeting, which she missed, claiming to have “fled” the city with her family because of safety concerns.
In event of a successful November recall (at a West U taxpayer cost of about $10K), the seat would remain vacant until the next regular West U municipal election on May 4, 2019 — meaning the city would function with a mayor and three councilmembers for six months.