Three members of the Palmer City Council who violated the Open Meetings Act will face their fate with voters in Palmer today, in a recall election that took a bizarre turn last week, when one of the council members showed up at a Palmer City Council meeting apparently while under the influence of a behavior-changing substance. The strange actions of Councilman Brian Daniels during was caught by video, and after the council took a break, he was driven home.
The three facing recall are Brian Daniels, Sabrena Combs, and Jill Valerius, who were part of a secret Facebook group run by a radical group called “Moms for Social Justice” that discussed city business and planned agenda items for the council, without legally notifying the public. Their group included one other council member, Julie Berberich, who has since been replaced via the election process. That four were meeting in a private chat group constituted a quorum and made their meetings illegal.
Many Palmer residents have participated in the election already in early voting. The clerk reports over 400 people have voted either early or absentee, a record.
History shows it’s challenging to recall sitting elected officials, and even those who disapprove of the actions of the three remaining offenders on the Palmer City Council don’t necessarily agree with recalling them because the election process is a form of recall, and recalls are expensive and disruptive. Recent recall efforts in Anchorage have failed, even though the offenses of the members being recalled involved misuse of millions of dollars in federal CARES Act monies.
Polls opened at 7 am and close at 8 pm at the Mat-Su Borough Assembly Chambers and the Mat-Su Borough Gym, both located at 350 Dahlia Avenue in Palmer.