The Herculean drama in the east bay continues to unfold, even if it is at a deliberate pace. The city council voted to acknowledged the receipt of recall petitions of two of its members, after the city clerk certified that enough signatures had been collected.

The recall election, which is expected to be held on June 7, would be the latest in a series of politically sensitive actions taken in the city. This recall is primarily a result of Hercules’ deteriorating financial problems, as well as the perception of negligence and indifference to nepotism by a previous city manager.

The vote would be to decide whether Mayor Joanne Ward and Councilman Don Kuehne will finish their terms, or if they will be replaced by a yet-to-be-determined candidate, to serve until 2012.

From the Contra Costa Times:

The Hercules City Council took another step this week toward calling an early election on the future of Mayor Joanne Ward and Councilman Don Kuehne.

On Tuesday the council by a 4-0 vote, formally acknowledged receipt of certification from the Contra Costa County Clerk that sponsors of recalls of Ward and Kuehne had collected enough signatures on each of two petitions to put the question on the ballot.

The sponsors needed 2,501 signatures, representing one-fifth the number of registered Hercules voters — 12,503 — on a given petition to qualify it for the ballot. They collected 2,883 to recall Ward and 2,986 to recall Kuehne. The county Clerk’s office verified all the signatures, tallying 2,544 valid signatures — “sufficient” signatures, in election lingo — for recalling Ward and 2,531 for recalling Kuehne.

Read the full article here.