Archived Story

Recall petition filed: Committee wants Byron Bailey removed from board

Published 11:28am Saturday, June 29, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—With 301 signatures to their petition, members of the Recall Supervisor Bailey Petition Committee filed the document Friday with the Isle of Wight County Clerk of the Circuit Court Sharon Jones. She confirmed receipt and said a hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, July 5 in a county courtroom.

The committee and its supporters want a judge to rule in their favor, and order Newport District Supervisor Byron “Buzz” Bailey from his seat on Isle of Wight’s Board of Supervisors.

Bailey and school board member Herb DeGroft have both been heavily criticized since they were revealed to have privately circulated emails containing crude humor to other board members and county staff. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are the subjects of several of those emails.

The exposure came during a supervisors’ meeting on May 16. Dottie Harris, president of the county’s NAACP chapter, said that she was given a copy by school board member Denise Tynes, who in turn had reportedly got them from an anonymous source.

Both Bailey and DeGroft, who represents the Hardy District, have repeatedly apologized if anyone took offense, but said they will not resign from office. DeGroft, however, recently announced that he changed his mind about running for office. His term ends this year; Bailey’s term lasts through 2015.

Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

“We’re just very grateful to live in a country and state that allows such a thing,” Joe Puglisi said about the process of being able to petition to remove someone with whom people no longer want in office.

Puglisi and Brenda Lee are co-captains of the committee.

“We’re very thankful for the support we’ve received from the Newport District,” Puglisi said. “We had a great team.”

He singled out Neal Johnson, “who put a lot of effort” on the matter.

Puglisi has said previously that in his experience of getting candidates on ballots, he’s never had people volunteer to help get signature. For this occasion, there were 15 people who circulated petition copies.

“I’m very much thankful to my son, Dillon, and wife, Kerry,” Puglisi said. “We’re very thankful that the press has showed interest in the matter.”

“As Joe indicted, we’re grateful to everyone who carried and signed a petition,” said Lee. “That should let Mr. Bailey know we do not approve of his actions, nor his words.”

Asked what the committee will do if a judge rejects the petition, Puglisi said, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

“We’re confident that judge will make a favorable ruling,” Lee said.

  • Makalani

    Re: “Could it be the difference in the color of skin of Mr. Bailey and of Mr. McLemore?”
    RE: “…a nation of ingnorant protestors.”

    Oftentimes — when race is involved in discussions — it shows how steeped some people are in their emotionally-charged — dogmatic POV. Many are not above name-calling — trotting out stereotypes — speaking half-truths — erroneously saying things with sincere conviction of which they may not have direct knowledge. And — many are quick to invoke God! lol

    Franklin does not have a recall provision in its City Charter. Unlike the taxpayers in IOW — they are “stuck like Chuck’ until the next election cycle. So much for Mr. McLemore getting a pass for having more melanin in his skin than Mr. Bailey.

    Disgruntled taxpayers — lawfully addressing their disenchantment with their elected representative hardly seems ignorant. Ignorance is abiding an elected representative when enough voters to trigger a recall are convinced that he/she no longer represents his/her constituents’ best interests.

    Politicians come an go all the time. It is not like they are doing a specialized job that a 1,000 other citizens picked at random couldn’t do!

    Suggest Removal

  • Makalani

    RE: “This is democracy in action.” 10,000% agreement! Checks and balances at work!

    It’s irrelevant WHY the taxpaying citizens conducting this recall are dissatisfied with their elected representative. What matters is that enough taxpayers feel that their elected representative is NOT representing their best interests — WHATEVER those interests — to have met the recall criteria.

    These taxpayers could have dumped some tea into the Blackwater River — instituted an armed insurrection — tried at the point of AR-15s to forcefully make the IOW powers-that-be redress their perceived grievances.

    Instead — they are following the ‘rule of law/’procedures that IOW has in place when taxpayers are dissatisfied — for whatever reason[s] — with their elected representatives. A judge — NOT THEM — will determine the validity of their rationale for recall. Checks and balances at work!

    Some taxpayers in a certain Franklin Ward are probably wishing they had a recall option. They have taxation with an ‘inept-ineffective-hair-trigger-tempered-loose cannon’ for representation. No checks and balances. lol

    Suggest Removal

  • skooch

    He has done nothing that would justify a recall. Sending some E-mails that some people of color object to is not a reason for recall IAW the law. I wonder how many of these people in this Committee have passed on e-mail jokes when they where going around about Sarah Palin and George Bush. I also think that the anonymous sender of the e-mails to the School Board was none other than Jo-Ann Hall and Rex Alphin. Bailey’s Conservative views have been a thorn in their sides since they formed their alliance on the Board.

    Suggest Removal

  • toofunny

    Good for them. As I mentioned a while ago, if people are unhappy, they should work within the system to get him removed. This is democracy in action.

    Suggest Removal

  • Va Native American

    This is just another example of how America has been turned upside down and become a nation of ingnorant protestors. Just like in the Paula Deen situation, Mr. Bailey has become a victim of ridiculous racism. Instead of initiating a recall for Buzz Bailey only because of a few light-hearted comments he has made, or an email he may have sent even though he has done a tremendous job as Supervisor(“…If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone…)why isn’t anyone petitioning a recall for Greg McLemore who has constantly acted on his own agenda, embarrassed himself and the City of Franklin, and continues to fail the people who voted for him and for whom he is supposed to represent? Could it be the difference in the color of skin of Mr. Bailey and of Mr. McLemore? If so, isn’t this what so many Americans have marched and protested against(judging someone because of the color of his skin.) God Bless America!!

    Suggest Removal

  • Tom55

    Mr. Bailey has my vote.
    A recall for this, what a waste of taxpayer’s money.

    Suggest Removal

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