A group that wants to remove Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel from office said it has enough signatures to trigger a recall vote on a municipal ballot.
The group announced in a post on social media Monday that it had gathered 4,500 signatures, more than a third of the number of ballots cast in her 2019 election.
Zaletel represents Midtown Anchorage. The petition claims that she participated in an Assembly meeting last summer with more people present than were allowed under coronavirus-related gathering restrictions in place at the time.
The municipal clerk’s office could not confirm the exact number of petition supporters by Tuesday. Deputy Municipal Clerk Erika McConnell said they received 709 pages of signatures, which could hold nearly 5,000 signatures, though she said not every page was completely filled. The signatures still need to be verified by the clerk.
The petition will go to the Assembly for approval if the number of valid signatures is at least a quarter of the number of ballots cast in the 2019 election, around 2,500 signatures.
The validity of the recall petition remains in question. The municipal clerk rejected two recall petitions against Zaletel last year, including this one, saying petitioners had insufficient grounds. Organizer Russell Biggs challenged the decision in court, and the Superior Court sided with him. The city appealed to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Arguments are scheduled to be heard Thursday.
“It’s discouraging to waste public resources, as well as my own time, on this,” Zaletel wrote by email.
In April, voters struck down a similar recall effort by the same organizers against the city’s other Midtown representative, Felix Rivera.