Man quietly launches effort to oust City Council, mayor

Total recall

Richard Glancy owns this building on the corner of Gates and Western avenues. The city has ordered him to bring the building up to code or tear it down. He said he can’t do either because he’s been barred from the property. (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

Richard Glancy owns this building on the corner of Gates and Western avenues. The city has ordered him to bring the building up to code or tear it down. He said he can’t do either because he’s been barred from the property. (DOUG McMURDO/Miner)

Mayor Richard Anderson and the entire City Council have been targeted for recall.

Richard Glancy in his notice of recall - which was filed without fanfare Aug. 12 - alleges Anderson has acted illegally and unethically and he accuses the mayor's colleagues of failing to exercise "due diligence" in reviewing Anderson's actions, as well as those of City Manager John Dougherty and other department heads.

The deadline to collect signatures is Dec. 12. The group will need to gather the names of 1,147 voters to force a recall election of Anderson and 1,209 for each Council member.

While the Total Recall Committee listed vague reasons for turning the Council out of office in papers filed with the city, Glancy told the Miner in an interview Thursday that Anderson and Dougherty committed a felony crime when they accepted a $1 million check from a company that is potentially interested in opening a business at the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park; that they have spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on Kingman Crossing; and that they allow city department heads to selectively enforce city laws.

The $1 million check was from Cives, one of the nation's largest steelmakers. The check was never cashed. It was written out to the Airport Authority, and Dougherty gave it to Mohave County Supervisor Gary Watson.

The city has not spent any money regarding Kingman Crossing to date, other than staff salaries. The allegation the city selectively enforces laws is at the heart of Glancy's grievance, and he doesn't deny that's the case.

Glancy owns several properties the city has found in need of abatement, including a barn-like structure on Gates and Western avenues that his family has owned since 1947. "If a building is open and they think it's a public nuisance, they can board it up," he said from 5th Street Books, downtown. "They said I had to fix it to code so it can be habitable, but nobody has ever lived in it. My dad used it as a hay barn."

He owns other properties on Jefferson and Pico streets that have also been condemned. The city, he said, has put him in a catch-22. "They ordered me to fix it, but I've been barred from my own property. They say it's unsafe."

Glancy also said he is not allowed to do the repairs himself, and must hire a contractor. "They want me to get building permits," he said. "They want money out of me."

He accused Anderson and Dougherty of lying to him. "The city can break the law, but citizens' can't," he said.

Anderson denied breaking any laws. Instead, he said Glancy pines for yesteryear. "He told me, 'Years ago this happened. I went to the mayor and he went to the city manager and they made it go away.' I said, not on my watch."

Still, Anderson said citizens have the right to go through the recall process. "I respect that," he said. "But the city has made a concerted effort to clean up properties. If we know a property is unsafe, and someone is hurt, we could be culpable. And it's not fair to neighbors. Not only is the property unsafe and an eyesore, it devalues everybody else's property."

Councilman Larry Carver, who is the liaison to the city's Board of Appeals, said he attended a meeting involving Glancy, who appealed the order to abate his properties.

"The city issued 40 notices to property owners that told them they needed to be brought up to code," said Carver. "Thirty-nine complied and you can guess who didn't."

Carver said Glancy was "adamantly opposed" to the order of abatements. "He was asked at least three times if he would be willing to work with the city to bring them up to code, and he never answered that question."

Shortly after that meeting was held, Glancy and others filed the recall petitions, said Carver. "This recall stems from that," he said. "Mr. Glancy is an old-time Kingman resident and he wants to do things like they did in the past, but we can't do things like that anymore. But if he feels like a recall needs to be made, he's using the rights that are afforded to him. We'll have to wait and see if residents feel the same way."

"Speaking for myself, I don't see any merit in a recall of the entire Council," said Councilwoman Jen Miles. "I hope it goes nowhere."

Glancy also has issues with the city's action taken on 5th Street Books. He was previously ordered to install two ADA-compliant restrooms for customers' use. "The cost of that is more than we make in a year," he said. "I couldn't do it, so they took away our business license."

He did say, however, that Dougherty rescinded that action and ordered city staff to reissue the license.

Still, he has concerns. "Between the mayor and the city manager, I have a hard time believing anything I hear," he said.

Should Glancy and his group gather enough valid signatures to force a special recall election, the cost to the city would be between $80,000 and $100,000, money that would have to come out of the contingency fund, according to City Clerk Sydney Muhle.