Accusing him of “implement[ing] policies contrary to the character and values of San Marino,” using “acts of intimidation and misrepresentation” to “achieve favored policies and programs,” exhibiting “un-mayoral behavior during council meetings by insulting, ridiculing and deriding residents expressing their opinions during Public Comment” portions of council meetings and engaging in “retaliatory behavior against a resident expressing opposition” to his policies, one hundred and one San Marino residents who signed on the dotted line filed a Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition for the city council seat of the Honorable Dennis Kneier with City Clerk Veronica Ruiz on June 26.
Kneier announced his resignation as the city’s mayor last month after a globally publicized incident when he was caught on a surveillance camera tossing a bag of dog excrement onto the walkway at the home of neighbor Philip Lao. Kneier did not resign from his seat on the city council, which expires in November, 2015.
Last Thursday, Kneier filed his maximum 200-word response to the recall, in which he denies each point. He was required to respond within seven days.
“As mayor, I only implemented policies as agreed by the majority of the [City] Council,” his statement reads. “No individual [City] Councilmember, including the mayor, can implement policies contrary to the majority.”
He later apologizes for the dog waste throwing incident before stating “we moved to San Marino 30 years ago, raised our daughters here, and participated tirelessly as volunteers in school and community activities, including my service as City Treasurer and as a Councilmember. As a result of these activities, we have made many friends; the support they have demonstrated over these past three weeks has strengthened my resolve to complete my elected term.”
During a phone conversation on Monday evening, Kneier told The Tribune he and his wife, Liz, have received more than three hundred “unsolicited letters, emails and face-to-face statements of support.”
“We have kept track,” said Kneier. “I wrote them all down.”
A two-page blank copy proposal must be submitted to City Attorney Steve Dorsey by July 13 from the proponents of the recall. If the documents are approved – possibly in two weeks from the date of submittal – proponents of the recall will have 90 days to collect signatures from at least 25% of San Marino’s 8,573 registered voters – a total of 2,143 signatures.
Eugene Sun was appointed mayor following Kneier’s resignation. City Councilman Allan Yung was named Vice Mayor.
Ruiz estimated that “early 2015” would be the soonest a recall ballot would go to the voters. She also said the election could cost the city as much as $50,000 since it would not be shared with other parties.
“I feel from what they have given me, I have done everything under the election code that is required and the City Clerk has told me the same thing,” said Kneier. “The ball is in their court.”
Kneier also echoed a sentiment he voiced on the morning of his mayoral resignation; I’m the happiest man in the city, in Southern California, maybe in the world,” Kneier said Monday evening. My daughter [Kristen] gave birth to another grandchild. There is joy in my life.” is giving birth to another grandchild. There is joy in my life.”
In other city news: The Tribune has learned that the San Marino Farmer’s Market may not last beyond the end of July.
Members of the City Council have been looking for alternative sites to the current location at the corner of Huntington Drive and San Marino Ave., but none have been deemed acceptable.
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