If supporters of an effort to recall five Upper Arlington City Council members are successful, city officials say they would have to dig into the law books to determine how those positions would be filled.

If supporters of an effort to recall five Upper Arlington City Council members are successful, city officials say they would have to dig into the law books to determine how those positions would be filled.

At this stage, it's unclear if those seeking to recall council members John C. Adams, David DeCapua, Kip Greenhill, Debbie Johnson and Don Leach would be successful in organizing an election to remove any one of them -- much less all five.

Petitioners must gather at least 1,989 signatures from registered Upper Arlington voters for each council member they seek to remove.

Upper Arlington City Attorney Jeanine Hummer last week estimated it would cost the city $65,000 to $70,000 in taxpayer dollars if recall elections were held during a special election -- that is, outside a previously scheduled primary or general election.

Upper Arlington's city charter gives council members the power to appoint replacements for vacancies that occur as the result of a recall.

However, if five are recalled, that would leave only two council members to make those appointments.

"We are in uncharted territory, so I am hesitant to say exactly what would happen," Hummer said. "There is a conflict due to the fact it takes a majority -- four members -- to decide any matter before council."

While Hummer hasn't confirmed what the official process would be, she speculated the procedure might call for staggered appointments.

"I believe it would most likely occur in this fashion: If all five members are removed, vacancies would occur one by one," she said.

"The first vacancy would be filed by the two (remaining) members, (and) the second vacancy would be filled by three members, including the most recent appointment. The third vacancy would be filled by the newly appointed two members and the existing members."

Hummer added, "I want to reiterate I have not researched all related case law and do not know if there is even law fitting this situation."

Save Northam Park member Stephen Buser has said he wouldn't be surprised if the recall effort extends into 2016.

He said Sept. 25 he didn't have an estimate for the number of recall signatures that had been collected, but added, "We are encouraged by the strong and growing level of support from concerned citizens."

Save Northam Park is spearheading the recall effort after Adams, DeCapua, Greenhill, Johnson and Leach voted in favor of moving forward with the design of most of the elements in a planned $14 million redevelopment of Northam Park.

Councilman Erik Yassenoff also voted to move forward, but he will leave office at the end of the year because of term limits and isn't a subject of the recall movement.

Councilman Mike Schadek voted against moving forward with the design of the park and also hasn't been targeted for a recall.

Save Northam Park's recall platform is laid out at savenorthampark.com, but generally, the group has said the city misled voters prior to their approval of a 25-percent income-tax increase in November 2014 by distributing fliers that said 100 percent of revenues from the added tax would go to roads, curbs, water and sewer lines.

The fliers failed to state that any of the revenue would go toward park projects, Buser said.

The group also believes the city should put the Northam Park master plan to a vote by residents; contends spending $14 million of the $18.45 million set aside for parks in the city's 10-year capital-improvements program is fiscally irresponsible; and opposes the possible construction of a community center connected to Tremont Elementary School.

Additionally, Save Northam Park has questioned if the community center "placeholder" is driving the relocation and elimination of current park features. Group members note that city officials haven't stated who would pay for the center's ongoing operations and maintenance.

"Members of the recall effort are not aware that any of the five recall candidates have changed their positions with respect to issues of fundamental concern to the recall effort," Buser said.

"If and when recall candidates do change their positions, or at least demonstrate concern for issues that citizens have repeatedly raised, I assume that at least some of the citizens who are engaged in the recall effort might be willing to reconsider their positions as well."