Bath City Council recall, Maine (2013)

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An effort to recall the City Council in Bath, Maine was launched in August 2013. The effort to qualify the recall question for the ballot was, however, abandoned short of going to a vote.[1]


The recall effort was led by Larry Scott, along with Michael Wischkaemper and Jim Strickland. Recall supporters were upset about the sale of a piece of public property, a former hospital, in closed-door negotiations. Scott said the issue was about the lack of transparency of the sale, rather than the sale of the property itself. However, Scott said he believed the council did not due a good job negotiating the sale, which was approved unanimously by the council at $800,000; the property had an assessed value of $6.5 million.[1][2]

The recall effort targeted Carolyn Lockwood, Meadow Rue Merrill, Sean Paulhus, Andrew Winglass and Bernard Wyman. Steve Brackett, Mari Eosco and Leverett Mitchell are not being targeted because their seats were up for regular election. David Sinclair was also not being targeted; Sinclair was the only member of the council to vote against having the negotiations done outside of public record.[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Maine

Recall supporters began collecting signatures in late August 2013. Within a week, however, the city council voted 6-2 to overturn the order of secrecy on the negotiations, citing negative public reactions and media coverage. As a result of the vote, recall supporters stated that they had suspended their efforts. Local media reports suggested the recall effort had also received some negative reactions from the public. Scott wrote to reporters about the decision to suspend the effort, "The council is moving in the right direction, and we wish to thank them and show our support for their efforts. Being a city council member is a difficult job, and anyone who watches last night's meeting on video will understand that they spend a great deal of time and effort dealing with issues no one else would have the patience to handle."[1]

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