It happened with the haste and informality of a high-five. The honorable and lanky Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Lance MacLean took his seat at the dais around 6 p.m., right before the beginning of tonight's open-session council meeting. A man in the front row of the audience, wearing a vibrant green shirt and tan plaid shorts, jumped up and hustled to where the five council members sit.
"You Lance MacLean?" he asked, apparently not trusting the illuminated "Lance MacLean" nameplate.
Chipper, friendly: "Yes, I am."
The green-shirt man handed MacLean a standard letter-size envelope and then turned around, fast, and power-walked out of the room. MacLean smiled and nodded as he reads the papers in the envelope, then nudged Mayor Frank Ury and showed him the note, grinning. If MacLean in that moment was perturbed by the fact that he had just been informed of a recall effort against him, he hid it by treating the notice like a dirty joke that had been passed via paper scrap.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
A press release sent to me by city resident Connie Lee and posted by Larry Gilbert on Orange Juice Blog after the meeting clears up the details. Mission Viejo resident Jim Snyder was the man with the envelope. Supposedly, more than 50 people signed the letter in support. And the charges against MacLean, at this point, are these:
"You violated your responsibilities to voters, showing yourself unfit to serve as a City Council member by exhibiting
- Violence when you were arrested by Police for assault and battery on a co-worker.
- Anger and incivility when you ordered a Mission Viejo councilwoman to "SHUT UP" in closed session.
- Hatred and disrespect when you called residents racists and elitists in a LA Times interview.
- Self-dealing when you voted to double your council salary during our current economic crisis.
- Greed and corrupt priorities when you voted to give yourself lifetime medical benefits at taxpayer expense after only 12 years of part-time council service.
- Financial mismanagement when you voted for budget items leading to $11.8 million in deficit spending.
- A tax increase when you authored and promoted Measure K, which was rejected by Mission Viejo voters.
- False promises when you voted to increase housing density leading to more traffic congestion."
More to come on all of this, including what happens next (I believe MacLean gets a certain amount of time to respond, and then there's a designated signature-gathering period to figure out whether the recall gets to the ballot). But it's worth noting that this probably didn't come as a total shock to MacLean: In addition to some chatter on local blogs over the past few weeks, people have been talking about recalling the man since shortly after he was elected to his first term in 2002. Funny, huh?