‘Clean Sweep’ group wants to remove some Petersburg council members

Posted at 11:34 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-05 23:38:49-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A group in Petersburg is getting ready to be out at the polls on Election Day armed with recall petitions.

Members of Clean Sweep Petersburg, a grassroots, non-profit organization, understand voter turnout will be high at the polls on Election Day.

Accordingly, the group believes it will get enough signatures on petitions to try and have two city council members and the city treasurer removed from office.

Petersburg City Council

Petersburg City Council

When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, three Petersburg City Council positions are on the ballot, but a grassroots group critical of city council said they want current mayor and vice mayor, which are not up for re-election this year, removed from office.

"Sam Parham and Howard Myers seem to have a collation between the two of them, that it disregards open government,” Clean Sweep Petersburg Co-Founder Gina Harrison said.

To make that happen, signatures have to be obtained on petitions and at every poll will be a petition aimed at the city treasurer.

"You have a trust vested in you as a council member and the trust is gone,” said Ron Flock, who is coordinating the petition drive. “Now we have an opportunity to have everybody at polling stations where people will be and have access to that."

Harrison said she thinks people will be willing to sign because they are upset about the city’s dire financial status.

But the group is not facing an easy task as hundreds of names are needed. Clean Sweep is looking to double or triple that, so they have already started the process.

"At least every day, maybe every other day, I get a pile about this big of petitions,” Harrison said.

Clean Sweep members said citizens need to begin making a change.

"A lot of us are opportunistic and think that we will get enough signatures. Hopefully we will,” Flock said.

 Ron Flock

Ron Flock

WTVR CBS 6 reached out to the Parham, Myers and Brown about the petitions.

Sam Parhams said he serves at the pleasure of the people.

Howard Hyers said he works in the best interest of the city based on the facts presented:

“I am sure my colleagues will agree that fact over fiction is relative to successful leadership and better strategic outcomes.”

Treasurer Kevin Brown released this statement:

I have not done any criminal acts nor do i condone criminal acts. I have been transparent in my dealings with our customers. I have good audits and have been aggressively going after delinquent taxpayers..

However , signatures do not guarantee council members or the treasurer will be removed from office. That will be up to a judge and it is a process that moves very quickly.

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