VICTORVILLE • Three council members are now being targeted for a recall, with developer Dan Tate planning a rally next week to discuss strategies and potential candidates to replace Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales, Councilman Mike Rothschild and Councilman Jim Kennedy.
“We see some fiscal irresponsibility that’s egregious on many fronts,” Tate said, citing failed power plant projects and other “special interest” projects that he believes have led the city to the edge of insolvency. “But more importantly, these guys are not going to change their position ... and we’re not going to make any progress unless you get (new) people in.”
The developer also said he’d drop the entire recall effort if Rothschild agrees to resign, which would leave the remaining council members to appoint his replacement.
“Dan Tate has gotten two council members elected so far even though he does not live in Victorville,” Rothschild said, referring to Tate’s support of Mayor Ryan McEachron and Councilwoman Angela Valles, “so I take this threat seriously.”
Tate, who lives in Oak Hills but has business interests in Victorville through his Majestic Land development company, said he’s holding all three council members responsible for their recent vote against trying to find a way to fill seven vacant deputy positions.
Rothschild has been on the City Council for 26 years and Cabriales for 12. And though Kennedy was only elected in November, Tate said he believes the councilman is serving as a “proxy” for Terry Caldwell, who opted not to run for reelection in the fall after 38 years.
“I don’t know Dan Tate and I can assure you that Dan Tate doesn’t know me,” Kennedy said by email Monday. “I don’t know what his problem is and frankly, I don’t give a damn. I’m going to do the job that I told the voters I would do, so I’m willing to let the chips fall where they may.”
Cabriales said he’s not planning to run again in 2012, having promised his wife the 2008 election — where he was top vote-getter — would be his last. However, he added moves like this recall effort could push him to reconsider, even at 74 years old.
“If that’s what he wants to do, go for it,” Cabriales said to Tate, questioning his motives since he doesn’t live in Victorville.
Rothschild said by e-mail Monday that he did not know about Tate’s intended recall on Friday morning, when he used Facebook to announce he won’t run next November. He said he began thinking seriously about ending his political career when Caldwell decided to step down in October, calling the longtime councilman “a good personal friend” and saying he felt they “made a good team.”
“The cost to Victorville for this recall if (Tate) is successful is over $200,000,” Rothschild said.
The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters has said that cost could climb as high as $284,000 if the recall isn’t coupled with this November’s consolidated election.
“Kind of foolish since I’m not even going to be running for reelection in 18 months,” Rothschild said.
Tate said the next 18 months could mean “life or death” for the struggling city, planning a “Recall Rothschild Rally” April 4 at Social House to garner support for his cause. He needs 20 percent of the city’s 37,800 registered voters to spur a recall, or some 7,560 qualified signatures.
Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.