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Council & Voters Can't Kick Out Mayor, High Point Doesn't Allow Recall Elections

10:44 PM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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High Point, NC-- Voters don't have the right to remove a politician they voted in.

Before she wrote a $7,000 bad check, before she owed $500 in overdue utility bills - 12,047 people voted to make Bernita Sims mayor of High Point in November 2012.

That was also before Sims owed more than $5,500 in overdue state income taxes, according to the High Point Enterprise.

Five of the remaining eight city council members want Sims to resign. But WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford found you do not have the right to remove a politician you voted in.

"Really the only way to remove somebody, anybody is to wait till the next election and vote for somebody else," said Charlie Collicutt, the director of Guilford County Board of Elections.

Collicutt said a few High Point residents have called the Guilford County Board of Elections asking about a recall election to get rid of their mayor. Despite pressure from city council, the mayor won't step down.

People in High Point cannot get the mayor out of office.

Greensboro is the only city in Guilford County that allows for recall elections. Recall elections are not permitted anywhere in Forsyth or Alamance County either.

In 2007, Greensboro actually held a recall election for councilwoman Diane Bellamy-Small.  When it came down to ballots, voters opted to keep Bellamy-Small in office. She's retained her seat ever since.

Elected officials can be forced to leave office if they're convicted of a felony or they live outside the area they represent. 
Mayor Sims was investigated for writing a $7,000 bad check to a family member. The Attorney General's Office is still determining if it will file felony charges.

WFMY News 2, High Point Enterprise

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