LA MARQUE — A La Marque resident is trying to collect nearly 100 signatures in an effort to force an election to recall Councilwoman Connie Trube.
Valerie Beverly filed the paperwork to circulate the petition Thursday, City Clerk Robin Eldridge said.
Beverly needs to collect signatures of at least 98 registered voters from Trube’s District C within 30 days to initiate the election, Eldridge said.
If the petition drive is successful, the election could be scheduled in November, Eldridge said.
Beverly, who moved to La Marque in November and lives in Trube’s district, said she planned to collect more than the necessary number of signatures.
District C extends from Yupon Street in middle of the city south to the Texas City Wye and along Interstate 45.
Trube has come under scrutiny for comments about African-Americans on the La Marque school board and because of allegations she wanted to close the city library because only African-Americans use it.
The allegations surfaced in sworn affidavits by former council candidate Deanna Bethea and her husband, James. In her affidavit, Deanna Bethea said she heard Trube say in regard to the library that “no one uses it but the damn (N-word)” and that the city was wasting money on the library.
In a recording made by James Bethea, Trube is heard talking about La Marque school board member Annie Burton.
“I hate to say this, but she really turned black,” Trube is recorded as saying.
Trube also says Burton helped “gang up” with others on the school board and “that is why the school district went to hell.”
Additionally, Mayor Bobby Hocking and City Manager Carol Buttler said Trube told them on separate occasions that she wanted to close the city library because only African-Americans used it.
The council hired the Olson & Olson law firm to investigate the claims. The firm concluded there had been “a pattern of inappropriate and racially insensitive statements by Trube.”
But Trube denies she ever wanted to close the library and said her comments on the school board have been taken out of context.
Trube, who has survived one recall election, said she is not a racist and does not plan to step down.
“I’ve been through this before,” she said. “Its just a process that citizens have a right to do.”
Trube faced a recall election in 2010 when there was infighting among city leaders. Trube kept her seat then, but council members Larry Mann and Deanie Barrett were ousted.
Trube said she believes she still has a lot of support in her district and that support includes members of the African-American community. She said the recall election is a waste of time and money for the city. Her term ends in May, and Trube said she does not plan to seek re-election.
“The funny thing is that the people who want to do this don’t come to council meetings,” Trube said. “They don’t know what’s going on. They have no clue as to how much I have voted to protect their rights.”
But Beverly, who has been to recent council meetings, said she wanted to see things change. She said she has already received many offers to help collect signatures.
“I just wanted to see La Marque have a positive change,” Beverly said.