Carrying a folder containing a letter of intent that would finally kick off the much talked-about recall movement of Union City Mayor Rudy Garcia, Brian Stack entered City Clerk Michael Licameli’s office at 3 p.m. on Monday and was greeted by TV cameras and reporters.
Commissioners Michael Leggiero and Tina Yandolino and Chris Irizarri, a city resident and employee who ran for commissioner with Stack in 1998, were also present when Stack filed his letter of intent.
Filing this letter is the first step in a long process leading to a recall election of the city’s mayor.
“His intentions have never been with Union City,” said Stack on Monday about Garcia. “We need a mayor who will be here. [Garcia] has been an absentee mayor thus far.”
The city’s Revenue and Finance Commissioner Ralph Fraguela and Irizarri were the other two signers of the letter.
“The people of Union City deserve some type of representation,” said Irizarri about signing the letter. “Not just from political figures.”
The mayor will now have 10 days to either face a recall or resign. According to Licameli, if the mayor chooses to face the recall, he can also circulate a petition of nomination to run against Stack for mayor if he is recalled. “Absolutely,” said Garcia when asked if he was going to file a petition of nomination. “We will let the residents decide who is mayor.”
Stack said that he expected Garcia to run against him.
“I would rather beat him in an election,” Stack said.
Why have a recall?
While there are no residents in Union City that can say that their taxes have not been recently raised substantially from what they were, there are a few questions that residents feel are left unanswered.
Concerned resident John Romanik, who was at the city clerk’s office for the filing, wanted to know why just Garcia was being recalled.
“[Garcia] is the governmental and political leader,” answered Stack. “And he has not led this city.”
Stack said that it was not Stack who called for the recall. He said the taxpayers and residents of the city asked for it.
“The people are very upset,” said Stack. “And Rudy doesn’t get it.”
“This recall is what the people want,” added Irizarri, who also said that many residents have come to him asking for the recall. “It is not because Brian Stack wants to be mayor.”
But what about the cost of an election? Garcia has said this before and Stack does not deny it. A recall election is not cheap. And the taxpayers of the city cannot afford to pay for it.
However, Stack said that the election will be paid for by private donations and other sponsors, so that it will not cost the taxpayers anything.
“We will make a donation to cover whatever the cost of the election is,” said Stack when asked about funding. “If it costs $90,000 then we will make a donation for $90,000.”