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"This is between the residents of Bauxite and Mayor McMahan, not between him and me," says Debbi Purifoy, who is leading an effort to recall McMahan.
Purifoy has gathered approximately 130 signatures from residents in Bauxite (population 438) who apparently agree with her when she says, "We need to save this town before it's too late."
In order to place the recall initiative on the November general election ballot, 97 valid signatures from registered voters in Bauxite were required. On Wednesday, Saline County election Coordinator Linda Montalvo said the signatures submitted through the recall petition drive are valid.
"We had more than enough signatures." said Purifoy. "Some people told us they would vote to remove McMahan, but were afraid to sign the petition because of what Mayor McMahan has done to me."
Purifoy pointed to a postcard McMahan sent to selected residents of Bauxite as an attempt by the mayor to target her with the public. The postcard included a photograph of Purifoy's police mug shot on one side with a description of a conviction to resisting arrest against her on the other.
The narrative by McMahan began with the words, "Do you want the person on the front side of this card to be the 'face' of Bauxite? Not me."
Purifoy says, "McMahan is the face of Bauxite, not me," and she maintains the image he projects for Bauxite is not one the majority of voters in the town now want.
"The thing I have heard most from residents is that man is crazy," she said.
She said that originally she needed 88 signatures for the recall petition, but as residents heard of the initiative "the number grew to 93 and then to 97 as more people registered to vote in Bauxite. He (McMahan) has upset the citizens and they are afraid to make him mad."
Purifoy is a lifelong resident of Bauxite. She graduated from Bauxite High School as did her mother and her children.
"I'm afraid that if Mayor McMahan continues as mayor, Bauxite will be lost." said Purifoy.
She claims her attempts to obtain documents related to the city's problems with the IRS and sales tax payments are being met with resistance by McMahan.
Purifoy contends she is doing this for the betterment of Bauxite. "I appreciate everybody who has joined this effort. We have to work side by side. We have to put aside petty issues to save our town."