Recall bid against Pasadena official who backed possible NFL games fails

The effort to recall a Pasadena councilman who supported the possibility of having professional football at the Rose Bowl has failed.

Residents opposed to having a National Football League team use the city-owned stadium pulled papers in January to recall Councilman Steve Madison but failed to submit the recall election petition by a Monday evening deadline, Pasadena City Clerk Mark Jomsky said.

Jomsky said a completed recall petition would have required signatures of 2,866 residents in Madison’s west Pasadena council district, which includes homes adjacent to the Rose Bowl.

The recall effort’s lead organizer, resident Mike Vogler, has not returned calls since May.

Madison could not be reached for comment.

Pasadena City Council members voted in November to relax restrictions on the number of large events that can be held at the Rose Bowl, which already hosts UCLA football home games.


Madison supported the move, which cleared the way for city officials to negotiate with the NFL for a pro team to play at the Rose Bowl for up to five years during construction of a permanent stadium in Los Angeles.

Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn said there have been no discussions between the city and the NFL or any of its teams since the vote.

“Because we would be an interim site, the first thing that needs to happen is a substantive discussion between a permanent site and a team,” Dunn said. “We’re the tail, not the dog.”

Many homeowners near the stadium have objected to NFL games at the Rose Bowl, fearing traffic jams, environmental damage to surrounding parkland and an onslaught of inebriated and unruly fans.

A coalition of neighborhood groups has filed a lawsuit against the city that alleges California Environmental Quality Act violations and seeks to overturn the council’s decision.

A draft of the recall petition against Madison accused the councilman of ignoring the interests of his constituents by supporting talks with the NFL.

Madison, who in 2006 cast the deciding vote against a previous NFL proposal, responded at the time that he “would not hesitate to reject a proposal from the NFL if our community did not see benefits.”


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