Last night the Midtown Republican Club had our monthly meeting at Cafe Eclectic. Todd Richardson of the Crosstown Development Project had to cancel at the last minute. Yvonne Burton, a Northeast Republican Club member and member of the Shelby GOP steering committee, kindly stepped in to discuss her work on the Recall Ritz effort.
Mick Wright’s hilarious skit at the Shelby GOP convention, in which he brandished a box of Ritz crackers, has propelled this issue into the spotlight. It was mentioned on Fox 13 and discussed by columnist Otis Sanford in the Commercial Appeal.
Since he was elected, County Commission Chairman Ritz has voted for increases in property and sales taxes – raising the ire of Shelby County Republicans. “He has been the deciding vote on many of these issues,” Burton said. “If you wait for the next election to fix things, it’s too late” she explained.
“It’s not just about Mike Ritz or kicking him out of the party,” Ms. Burton said. “Ritz ran as a fiscal conservative in the election,” the co-chair of the Mid South Tea Party continued. “But he never votes with the Republicans. It’s about telling the other commissioners that they should listen to us.” She explained that accountability is the only way to make them understand that “we monitor agendas.”
The recall requires 21,000 signatures “and we have 75 days to get the petitions,” Burton said. “It is doable.” Proponents have a website, recallritz.com and a facebook page, too. “We need donations and we are looking for volunteers to collect signatures. We need a volunteer coordinator, too,” she said. Anyone interested should go to the website for more information.
“There would be a special election in September in which the vote would take place, along with the sales tax referendum.” Although recall members do not have a replacement for Ritz picked out, they believe it would send a powerful message to other elected officials.
“I and others have gone before the Council on 8 or 9 issues and shared our views and information. We have been successful 100% of the time. We the people have a lot more power than most realize.”