Neal Knight, Jamie Minshall and Mari Gottwald recall, Cornelius, Oregon (2011)

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A vote about whether to recall Neal Knight, Jamie Minshall and Mari Gottwald from their elected positions as member of the Cornelius, Oregon city council took place on September 27, 2011.[1][2]

In the September 27 election, all three recall targets were recalled.[3]

Neal Knight was the mayor of Cornelius. Minshall and Gottwald were members of the city council.[4] Together, Knight, Minshall and Gottward were referred to as "Team 3."[1]

Knight, Minshall and Gottwald were first elected to their positions in November 2010 and were sworn-in in early January 2011. They were three of the five members of the Cornelius city council.[5]

To fill the seats made vacant by the recall, remaining city council members Jef Dalin and Steve Heinrich appointed replacements.[3]

Motivation of recall supporters

Former Cornelius city councilor Brad Coffey was a leader in the recall effort.[6]

Recall supporters listed these reasons for why they supported the recall:

  • They voted to fire city manager Dave Waffle.[4][1]
  • They support eliminating the city's General Service Fee.[4]
  • They "have not considered public input during public hearings."[4]
  • They "failed to abide by adopted City Council rules."[4]
  • They "participated in the goal-setting process in apparent good faith, then voted against their own goals."[4]
  • According to former city attorney Paul Elsner, Knight violated the Cornelius city charter and performed an "attempted direct or indirect coercive act" when he tried to get former city manager Waffle to remove the city's general services fee.[7]
  • Sixty residents of Cornelius signed a complaint which says that Knight has violated the city charter by "actively managing and directing city staff … promoting his own opinion and position on matters affecting the entire city of Cornelius … knowingly coerced a city employee to sign an official city document."[7]

Opposition to recall

Comments made in opposition to the recall included:

  • Neal Knight: "When elected mayor I made it clear what I thought was important to Cornelius. The General Services Fee should be removed. This can be done without hampering valuable city services. Many cities in Oregon run more smoothly with substantially smaller budgets than Cornelius."[8]
  • Jamie Minshall: "Since our election, we’ve made changes that we felt were necessary. The citizens want a town where business can thrive. We are helping to create this environment by keeping government accountable and fiscally responsible. This puts less of a tax burden on the people of Cornelius."[8]

Path to the ballot

For each recall target, 391 signatures had to be collected on a petition in order to force a special recall election. This figure was calculated by taking 15% of the number of those in the municipality who cast a vote for Governor of Oregon in the most recent gubernatorial election.[9]

These signatures had to be collected by October 3, 2011.[10]

Election results

  • Votes to recall Neal Knight: 823 Approveda
  • Votes to retain Neal Knight: 348
  • Votes to recall Jamie Minshall: 790 Approveda
  • Votes to retain Jamie Minshall: 339
  • Votes to recall Mari Gottwald: 791 Approveda
  • Votes to retain Mari Gottwald: 337

See also

External links