A second petition, seeking the recall of Timothy Vessel, is expected to be submitted Wednesday to Ascension Parish Registrar of Voters Robert Poché with just as many signatures.
If successful, the recall could vastly change the character of the five-member City Council, where Lacombe and Vessel have joined with councilman Terance Irvin in a voting bloc that most recently has been clashing with Mayor Barney Arceneaux over amended budget proposals.
Arceneaux has called a news conference Wednesday to discuss the latest proposed budget, which, like the earlier two proposals, passed on split 3-2 vote. The mayor vetoed both those efforts and it’s possible he could issue a third budget veto.
The recall effort, however, began before the budget battles, and was primarily focused on rezoning issues. SaveGonzales launched the recall effort in April, citing Lacombe and Vessel’s repeated blocking of zoning changes in the city.
Poché’s office has 15 working days from the submissions of the petitions to certify if there are enough valid signatures to place a recall proposition on the ballot.
For both at-large city council seats, 2,145 signatures — a third of the registered voters in the city — are needed to move the recall effort forward.
The close to 2,700 signatures collected since April by volunteers with SaveGonzales, if certified, would be more than enough for the Governor’s Office to issue a recall election proclamation.
The recall organizers are hoping to get the recall propositions on the Dec. 6 ballot.
And that would begin the second part of the process for the organizers, with a get-out-the-vote effort, said Chuck LeBlanc, chairman of the recall drive.
“The same group of people that worked to get it together” also will canvass neighborhoods asking people to go to the polls on election day, LeBlanc said.
A 2013 recall effort against Lacombe failed to get the required number of signatures to put the matter on the ballot.
“I feel good. We worked hard for four or five months,” LeBlanc said of the recall effort launched this year. “It’s been a long road.”
Neither Lacombe nor Vessel could be reached Tuesday for comment.