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Recall effort targets Gomez

April 24, 2001

Alex Coolman

GLENDALE -- Incensed over the decision to lower the American flag to

commemorate the Armenian Genocide, a former council candidate has

launched a recall drive to toss Mayor Gus Gomez out of office.

Joe Mandoky, who recently made a run for school board and has in the

past run for City Council, is targeting Gomez for his April 17 decision

to lower the American flag to half-staff.

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"I'm a veteran of the Vietnam era," he said. "My brother served over

there. Showing disrespect for the flag by lowering it is inappropriate. I

thought the City Council got that message the last time."

The recall effort is still in its initial stages. Mandoky said Monday

he was almost finished collecting the 100 signatures necessary to

officially file the recall effort.

Once those have been turned in, signature-gathering would have to

start in earnest. To call for a vote, 15% of registered voters -- or

about 13,500 people -- would need to sign a petition.

Mandoky had suggested in a recent letter to the News-Press that the

recall effort would target "the City Council members who supported the

disrespect," but he said Monday that he only planned to deal only with

Gomez.

"He decided he didn't need to listen to the community," Mandoky said.

Gomez could not be reached for comment Monday.

Rafi Manoukian, a councilman who spoke forcefully on the importance of

acknowledging the genocide said the recall effort was "certainly not

warranted at this time."

"I'm surprised that it's Joe Mandoky that's doing this," Manoukian

said. "I'm disappointed and surprised."

Mandoky said he had been "overwhelmed" by the support for his

proposal, and added that he intends to run for office to replace Gomez if

his drive proves successfully.

"Everywhere I go, people say 'Joe, you're doing the right thing. Where

do I sign?' " he said.

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