Winston City Council recall, Oregon, 2009

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An effort to recall three Winston City council members was launched in September 2009. The targeted council members include: Sandy Lipphardt, Christie Glen-Knutson and Dick Hayes. Petitions were filed September 2, 2009. However, recall supporters did not meet the signature deadline and thus a recall election was not held.[1]Defeatedd

According to the filed intent to recall petition, Lipphardt, Glen-Knutson and Hayes violated Oregon's public meetings law at a meeting on August 7, 2009. At the meeting, between Riverside Center and community members, according to petition supporters, councilors made "misleading statements," "unethical actions involving the Riverside Center dispute," and discussed city business when they shouldn't have.[2]

Recall petition

The language of the filed intent to recall petition reads:

Due to the mistrust, you have caused by your unethical actions involving the Riverside Center dispute. The lack of confidence you have created in the voter's mind concerning your ability to fulfill your duties as a city councilor. Your involvement in unauthorized meetings outside the scope of your city councilor position. Unauthorized involvement in personnel matters. Misrepresentation of your position as city councilor. False and misleading statements to the press as city councilor. Misleading statements to the Riverside committee as a city councilor. Falsehoods and misrepresentations to the citizens of Winston. Violations of several ORSs, lack of personal character. Continued violations of ORS 192 (open meetings law) on several occasions. Violation of the city charter of Winston on numerous instances. Your unethical and possibly illegal actions have put the citizens and the city of Winston at grave financial risk and liability.[2]

City attorney controversy

On September 10, 2009 City Attorney Bruce Coalwell was terminated after city officials learned that Lipphardt, Glen-Knutson and Hayes met with the attorney to request the termination of City Administrator David Van Dermark. According to Mayor Rex Stevens the meeting was a violation of the open meetings law and the city charter. Coalwell was issued a cease and desist order and prevented from working with city officials. The city council has not yet terminated Coalwell.[3]

Path to the ballot

Recall supporters had 90 days from the date the petition was filed to collect enough signatures for a recall election. A minimum of 125 signatures are required to recall Hayes and a minimum of 126 signatures for both Lipphardt and Glen-Knutson. They failed to submit the signatures by December 2, 2009.[1]

See also