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Citizens Launch Effort to have Mayor of Lebanon Recalled

The group needs 2,188 signatures in about three weeks. The mayor says he hasn't done anything wrong.

February 22, 2011|Joanna Small | Reporter

LEBANON, Mo. —   Less than two years after the first failed attempt the citizens of Lebanon are trying again.

  They say they'll have a petition to recall mayor CP Craig submitted to the Laclede County Clerk in three weeks.

  Mayor Craig was swept into office in April 2008 with more than 70% of the vote over the incumbent.  Clearly the people wanted change; Craig claims he's brought it, and those behind this day-old recall agree.

  Inside PC Plus in Lebanon there's a quickly growing grassroots effort to make Lebanon minus CP.

  "This petition is to step forth and say we don't have confidence in the mayor any more."

  Kelly Green and his team say CP Craig's business practices are backwards too.

  "I could go on for pages; I've got people coming in every day with 20 to 30 reasons they want to recall the mayor but we have to be concise," Green tells us.

  He settled on what Craig opponents call a cover-up of the firing of a dispatcher and obstruction of a special meeting called by the mayor pro tem to discuss this and other issues.

  The committee to recall Mayor Craig isn't wasting any time.  They've secured two locations and are planning on adding more for signature collections.  They've got four wards and captains for each whom are assembling teams of volunteers to take the petition door to door.

  Then there are the signs; the entire effort hasn't seemed to phase the mayor himself, but those struck a nerve.

  "I'm just highly concerned about these signs they've got out in front of at least one business that says 'Take Our Town Back.'  Take our town back from what?" Craig asks.

  Ironically the mayor rolled in on a very similar sentiment nearly three years ago.

  "We've eliminated waste, we've eliminated abuse.  We've made city government transparent to the people who foot that bill- some people aren't happy about change," Craig continues.

  A lot of those people left; ten police officers including the chief, who took an earlier than expected retirement less than a year into Craig's term.

  But these citizens aren't leaving; they say Lebanon minus CP equals plus.

  The group needs 2,188 signatures to hold a special election.  They're shooting to make their goal in three weeks -- in time for a June ballot where the only question would be "should Mayor CP Craig be removed from office, yes or no?"

  The comittee has started a Facebook page; that is primarily how it is keeping supporters informed.  Click here to have a look.
  The Lebanon City Council voted five to two "No Confidence" in CP Craig just a few weeks ago.

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