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Recall effort launched against Poway Mayor Steve Vaus

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 19:45:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A petition is now circulating to recall Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, and both sides are already on the attack.

Poway resident Christopher Olps hosted a press conference Wednesday to launch a 120-day drive to get the necessary 6,651 signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot. The number equates to 20 percent of Poway's electorate.

"It's not a Republican or a Democrat thing," said Olps.

"We have community members from all backgrounds and to say one party over the other, it's nothing about that."

Olps is pinning the recall campaign on what he alleges are tens of thousands of dollars in financial reporting improprieties with Vaus's Carols by Candlelight annual event, which the mayor vehemently denies.

Vaus's recall response says, "Olps lies saying Mayor Vaus failed to file required financial disclosures related to his Carols by Candlelight Christmas concert. FACT: the State of California found zero violations and rejected that claim."

Olps, who has run unsuccessfully for City Council multiple times, also says Vaus is too cozy with developers, citing mixed-use developments approved along Poway road.

A three-story currently being built called Poway Commons will tower over a neighborhood of single-family homes to the west.

The mayor's recall response says Vaus and the council actually reduced previously approved development density on Poway road. It pointed to Vaus's leadership on Poway's safety, road conditions, property values, and his actions in response to the pandemic and the 2019 shooting at the Chabad of Poway.

The city says a special election would cost $500,000 to $900,000. But recall proponents say they want it included as part of the June 7th primary.