Opponents of the sale of a portion of gathered Sunday to organize and notarize official complaints related to the election last Tuesday, which saw the question .
The meeting at the was called to bring up concerns and organize official complaints to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. The SEEC allows any individual to submit a complaint for investigation if they feel there has been a violation of election laws.
The vote to authorize the sale of 9.14 acres of Riverside Park to the for $2.9 million passed 2,117 to 2,104. The 13-vote margin triggered an , which will take place on Wednesday, and the as a result.
Ronna Stuller, treasurer of the Friends of Riverside political action committee, said the main issue in the election is related to advertising and other materials from supporters of the sale. Stuller said the materials may have violated election law by not including a notice of how they were funded.
“If something is unattributed, there’s really no way to fight it,” said Stuller. “It’s not a level playing field…If they had chosen to form a PAC, I wouldn’t have any problem with it.”
Stuller said another concern was the placement of the question along the top of the ballot. She said it was not a conspicuous place for the question, and that some voters had missed it.
Barbara Crocker said she thought translators at the polling stations misled Spanish-speaking voters. She said she witnessed arguments where translators told voters that a yes vote was a vote to save the park.
“I’m concerned that it wasn’t written in Spanish,” said Crocker. “I think it should have been.”
Andrew Lockwood, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor and opposed the sale, will hand-deliver the complaints to the SEEC today. Several other candidates who ran for City Council or the Board of Education also attended the meeting.
“I’m in favor of saving the park, and I wanted to see what the concerns are,” said Mirna Martinez, who ran unsuccessfully for the Board of Education as a Green candidate.
Stuller said she is unsure what opponents will do if the recount upholds the sale. She said there will likely be another meeting to plan strategy, with one possible avenue questioning whether the city is mandated to replace the acreage sold with open space elsewhere.