YORK – Amie Kopcho, a resident of YorkCounty, filed a recall affidavit against York County Commissioner Paul Buller on Friday morning, in an effort to have him removed from office.
In her affidavit, Kopcho alleges: “Mr. Buller does not understand and refuses to represent the needs of all the people of York County. He often shows up to meetings ill prepared and uninformed about the current issues. Mr. Buller violated the Open Meetings Act to speak behind closed doors with the County Attorney at the public meeting on August 18, 2015.”
She filed the affidavit with the York County Clerk’s office, in which she asked that 12 petitions be prepared for circulation among registered voters in Buller’s district – which is District 1.
Kopcho is a resident in Buller’s district, which is a requirement in this particular recall petition process.
York County Clerk Kelly Turner said Friday afternoon that she has contacted the office of the Nebraska Secretary of State, to make sure the affidavit and petition request meet all legal standards.
She said if the Secretary of State’s office verifies that all legal standards have been met, she will begin the process.
If that is the case, Buller will be given 20 days in which to provide a statement in his own defense, if he chooses to do so. The clerk will send a letter of notice to Buller, together with a copy of the affidavit.
If Buller provides a defense statement, it will be included on the petitions.
Until the 20-day deadline arrives, additional steps in the process cannot take place.
After that deadline, Turner will draft the petitions which will be provided to Kopcho.
Kopcho and petition circulators will have 30 days to obtain at least 236 verified signatures from registered voters in District 1. The number of 236 represents 35 percent of the votes cast in that district, in the last election (2014), for county commissioner.
Once those 30 days have expired, Turner is allowed 15 days in which to examine the petitions and officially certify whether the minimum number of valid signatures from registered voters in that district has been met.
If so, the matter will be decided by election. The only people who would be allowed to participate in that election would be registered voters who reside in District 1.
If the minimum required number of signatures is not collected, the matter will go no further.
Earlier this week, Kopcho testified during a public hearing before the county commissioners regarding whether the railroad crossing at Road L should be closed. During that public meeting, Buller asked to speak with the county attorney in private, which took place in the back meeting room adjacent to the commissioners’ chamber – which led to Kopcho’s allegations that Commissioner Buller violated the Open Meetings Act.