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'We've been cut short': Marlin residents say efforts to recall the mayor continue

After petitioners in Marlin were made aware of several defects in their original petition documents to recall the mayor, they tell 25 News they plan to fix mistakes before their deadline of July 4th.
Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 01, 2024

MARLIN, Texas — "I feel disappointed in the city and I feel disappointed for all the people who stepped forward and really wanted to make a statement that they wanted better government and leadership,” said Marlin resident Pam Kelly.

Recall organizers tell 25 News the fight isn't over, despite the effort to recall Mayor Susan Byrd falling short.

"I personally feel like the city is treating this petition like a game,” Kelly said.

Last week, the City of Marlin sent a letter to organizers detailing several defects that had been identified in their recall petition.

Some of the issues included 37 duplicate signatures, three names that were neither printed nor signed, and 65 signatures that were not listed as qualified voters in the city of Marlin.

The city has given them 10 days to address and correct all mistakes.

"Especially because the reason is we've been cut short — the goal post has been moved, the ball is in your court, but you can't have the ball and by the way — the clock is running,” Kelly said.

Kelly is one of the organizers frustrated the city secretary did not provide them with an itemized list of their mistakes, leaving them to figure the problems on their own.

One of the biggest was finding out they had been given the wrong number of valid signatures required to force a recall.

"I mean I think that was a surprise to everybody,” Kelly said.

The city now says at least 305 valid signatures were needed... much higher than the 260 signatures they thought they had to collect.

Despite being down, recall organizers tell 25 news they are nowhere near done.

"Well I would say that we will continue to work, we have until the fourth to turn something in so the recall is not a 'no recall' yet — we will just see, we probably will dispute their numbers,” Kelly said.

Petitioners tell 25 News they've filed a complaint with the secretary of state.

We also reached out to the Mayor for a comment, but she has not returned our calls.