Dillon City Council recall, Montana (2014)

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An effort to recall council members Derek Gore, Nils “Swede” Troedsson, David Spehar and Lynn Westad in Dillon, Montana from their positions was launched in May 2014.[1]

The recall petition against Westad fell short after the main petition gatherer became ill.[2]

The recall petitions against Gore, Troedsson and Spehar were disqualified by the Beaverhead County Clerk & Recorder and Election Administrator.[3]

Recall proponent arguments

At issue were two lawsuits brought by the city against Dillon homeowners who "refused to pay when the city billed them for installing water meters in front of their properties." Recall proponents also alleged that the targeted council members violated open meetings laws.[1]

Officials' responses

Gore maintains that Mayor Michael Klakken is the primary agitator in the recall effort. "What everything stems from is the mayor and his buddies have a past history and a big grudge against the city. Klakken got his foot in there and he’s going to bring the whole city down. His goal is to destroy anything that (former mayor Marty) Malesich had his hands on. A lot of people saw that, even the city employees, that’s why they ran down and got into a union. The public doesn’t know what’s actually going on. Klakken’s got his few people in town that are loudmouths. You say a big enough lie long enough it becomes the truth. They just keep screaming and yelling and people start believing it."[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Montana

Recall proponents had until mid-July to collect the signatures needed to trigger a recall. Proponents needed to collect signatures equal to 20 percent of the number of registered voters in each ward at the last city election. Petitions with enough signatures were turned in against Gore, Troedsson and Spehar.[1]

Beaverhead County Clerk & Recorder and Election Administrator Debbie Scott rejected the recall petitions against the trio following discussions with Beaverhead County Attorney Jed Fitch. The pair ruled that the allegations levied in the recall petitions "did not constitute a violation of oath of office."[3]

See also

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