Medicine Hat resident Nicole Frey has initiated a recall petition against Mayor Linnsie Clark to try to force a byelection. “Many of us believe the entire council and mayor should be recalled or do us a favour and resign and force a byelection, but the cost and the burden of signatures is quite high for a petition,” said Frey in a Monday interview. “We chose the mayor’s position as the recall petition’s subject because she is the only full-time council member.” The petition will require 40% of Medicine Hat's voters to sign off on it in 60 days. The city has a population of more than 65,000.The boiling point Frey said for many people is the utilities issue. She said they are upset with the lack of action from Clark and Medicine Hat city council in addressing high utility rates. This issue has been on council’s agenda for the last 20 months and it has not come up with major solutions for it. On the one hand, she said the city has referred to residents as stakeholders when it comes to whether or not to sell its utility company. When they ask for information on how the company runs, she said they are no longer considered stakeholders and that information is confidential. People have tried to have the information released through a freedom of information request, but the city has refused to provide it. A restaurant owner rented out a venue to hold a town hall about utility rates in August and 500 people showed up. Clark and the councillors were unable to answer any questions. While they were unable to answer questions, they agreed to a relief program. She acknowledged people are paying high rates and they struggle to feed their families while the city reaps record profits. Frey said Clark “does not appear to have formed a connection with the community and she doesn’t appear to be connected enough with it to understand what’s going on.” The list of problems continues to grow, so she has decided to take action. She used a handbook provided online and spoke with Alberta Municipal Affairs to launch the petition, but it took a few revisions to get the paperwork right. After filling in the paperwork, she paid a $500 fee and had the recall notice posted online the next day. To help with the recall election, she said she will be launching a website to obtain signatures. She added she has been inundated with phone calls, texts, Facebook messages and emails from people on how they can sign the petition. A group of people held a meeting on Sunday to fight to make Medicine Hat better. They came up with a game plan on how they are going to go about providing opportunities for people to sign it. Since the recall legislation requires a high number of signatures, she said she understands why no Alberta mayor has ever been recalled. The Alberta government has committed to revisiting the recall legislation. She said it will “shine a light on the need for citizens of communities to take their power back and to be able to hold elected officials accountable.” If they are unsuccessful, it might provide more fodder for the Alberta government to change it. While Frey's name is on the petition, she said it is a community effort. If people are upset as they say they are and put their names on the petition, she said they have a good opportunity for success. The Alberta government announced recall legislation in 2021. READ MORE: Alberta government brings in long-awaited recall legislationBill 52 would allow Albertans to initiate a process that could lead to removing and replacing elected officials, including MLAs, municipal politicians and school board officials. It was intended to strengthen democracy by empowering Albertans to hold elected officials accountable throughout their term.Clark could not be reached for comment in time for publication.