District 5 Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Kearney was recalled Tuesday and will be replaced on the Board of Supervisors by Clyde Clapp, a longtime resident of Valley Springs.
With all five of the district's precincts reporting, Kearney was recalled by 1,934 (61 percent) votes.
Meanwhile, Clapp defeated three other challengers for the District 1 seat in collecting 34 percent of the votes cast for a new supervisors. Returns show Clapp with 922 votes, Bob Bowerman with 612, Bruce Guidici with 594 and David Tunno with 510.
Proponents for the recall pointed towards a controversial asphalt plant that Kearney voted to allow to operate without a conditional use permit or an environmental study. Recall backers have also mentioned that the supervisor allowed developers to back out of an agreement to pay for a left turn lane on Olive Orchard Road near Highway 26.
In April, recall backers began collecting the necessary 1,238 valid signatures of registered District 5 voters, about 25 percent of the total voters in the district, to put the recall on the ballot.
Judy Odell, 67, of Valley Springs voted against the recall, stating a need for voters in the area to avoid switching horses in the middle of the race.
“I think Ranch Calaveras is a laugh,” said Odell. “We live in Rancho Calaveras and the last two representatives they’ve tried to recall. Just because somebody votes differently from what you’re wanting; a president isn’t going to do everything that you want, doesn’t mean you get to recall him when he doesn’t. We voted for him, now deal with it.”
While many see the asphalt plant as an environmental detriment, Odell was more concerned with the potential for new jobs in the area.
‘I’m all for the asphalt plant,” said Odell. “Valley Springs needs jobs. I would have never had moved here if we would have realized that there was no growth and that when my grandsons grew up there would be nowhere for them to work except to walk around town and do what kids do, which is to drink and do drugs because there isn’t a damn thing around here for them to do.”
The environmental issues are what galvanized Mario Lopez, 61, of Valley Springs to cast his vote to recall Kearney.
“Calaveras River is the No. 1 River in California for trout fishing,” said Lopez. “We don’t want to disrupt that and putting in an Asphalt plant might just do that. We can’t have those big semi-trucks in the neighborhood. It was totally illogical for him to back such a thing.”