Fire Board Recall Moves Forward

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The move to recall the board of the Christopher-Kohl's Fire District is winding down. David Rogers in the Gila County Elections office said the application for a recall serial number was filed in July.

"They have to collect 40 signatures for each of the three board members," Rogers said, "They have until Nov. 6 to file the petitions."

The board is made up of Chairman Power Webb, Mikey Marazza and Jerry Fisher.

Gregory Bownds, who is the sole organizer of the recall, said the petitions will be filed early.

In spite of Bownds' claim ousted Fire Chief Kent Courtney had nothing to do with the recall, the board members have expressed opinions to the contrary. Courtney's contract as chief was terminated Sept. 24 by the governing board.

"(Courtney) is coming back, I'd bet my certification on it," Bownds said, "I'm sure of it. And we're intent on rebuilding the department from the ground up with this recall."

Courtney is now on the record supporting the recall.

"Normally I don't support recalls," Courtney said. "Usually they're not the best solution to this kind of problem, but in this situation, I've been left with no recourse but to support this recall. Typically fire boards are put in office by the pubic and if the public is dissatisfied with the fire board, then the public removes them from office through recall."

In addition to the recall, the board also is targeted by a lawsuit Courtney plans to file.

"I am initiating a lawsuit against the fire district and the fire board members individually, and I'll have further comment after my suit is filed," Courtney said.

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