Possible Pueblo Recall Election

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The group out to recall four city council members got enough petitions signed to recall two of them, Bill Sova and Mike Occhiato. If the petitions are valid, there could be a recall election by next month.

But there's still time for a compromise.

The petition for a recall election centers around the strict smoking ban passed by Pueblo's City Council in December. Because of the controversy, the ban has been suspended.

The group that organized to fight the smoking ban collected enough signatures to recalll Sova and Occhiato, but fell short on signatures for Ted Lopez and Bob Schilling. All four men voted in favor of the smoking ban.

All the signatures on petitions for Sova and Occhiato have been validated by the city clerk's office.

The group calling for the recall says there is a way out. They have drawn up a revision to the smoking ban that allows smoking in more places than the previous version. They say if the council votes in favor of the compromise ordinance next week, they won't push for a recall election.

Council president Sova says he would never vote for a watered down smoking ban. Other councilmen, however, may be ready to compromise. In a phone interview Mike Occhiato says he's leaning that way.

The council will vote on this a week from today.

If the compromised ban is passed, those who supported the more strict version, can still work to have it put back on the ballot in November.