As the ballots began being counted last night, there would be little about the outcome. The voters in Hercules held the city council responsible for the deteriorated city finances, and they were going to vote them out. 

Two members were subject to yesterday’s recall election, a third seat was open for election after the former mayor resigned. Only 13 percent of voters wanted to keep Joanne Ward in office, and Donald Kuehne didn’t fare much better, with 20 percent voting to keep him on the council.

The vote signaled the end of a turbulent year for Hercules. Between questions of conflicts of interest with former city manager Nelson Oliva, a redevelopment agency that is nearly insolvent, and ambitious development projects out of money, it is easy to understand why the voters decided to expel the council members. 

Whatever the reasons voters had to vote for the recall, the challenges abound for the new council members.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Joanne Ward and Donald Kuehne, the only two remaining members of the 2010 Hercules City Council, were recalled by a lopsided margin Tuesday by voters unhappy over the deterioration of the city’s finances and six-figure contracts between the city and a firm owned by the former city manager’s daughters.

The vote ran 87 percent in favor of recalling Ward and 80 percent in favor of recalling Kuehne.

“The citizens have spoken,” Anton Jungherr, a member of the leadership team of recall sponsor Hercules Recall, said in a brief statement late Tuesday night.

Read the full article here.