• Fmr. Fruitland Park commission candidate works to have mayor, commissioners recalled


    FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - A battle is brewing between a former Fruitland Park city commission candidate and current city leaders.

    Michael Howard told WFTV he’s making it his mission to recall the mayor and three of the four city commissioners.

    He said the city is wasting taxpayer dollars to settle lawsuits.

    Howard is spearheading the campaign to recall Mayor Chris Bell and city commissioners John Gunner, Sharon Kelly, and Albert Goldberg.

    “In the last 10 to 11 months we have paid more than $1 million in lawsuits. If this was a private company, these individuals would be fired,” Howard said.

    To remove them from their positions, the group has to first get 250 voter signatures and those signatures must be verified.

    The group would then have to collect more signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

    With The Villages expanding into Fruitland Park, city leaders have been working on plans to keep the villagers from taking over the commission, but Howard said adding some new people with fresh ideas would be good for the city.

    Bell said Howard has it out for the commissioners and doesn’t think the recall would make it on the ballot.

    Howard said they started collecting the first phase of signatures Saturday and he believes campaigners have collected more than 100 names so far.

    Howard’s group has 30 days to get enough signatures in order to move on to the next step in the recall process.

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