Doug Isaacson recall, North Pole, Alaska (2010)
The recall effort was defeated.
Isaacson was elected mayor in 2006. He is a former Russian linguist in the Air Force and a former mortgage loan broker.
Dianna Lindhag, a member of the North Pole city council, was a leader with the recall campaign, which was named the North Pole Community Coalition Effort to Recall North Pole Mayor Douglas W. Isaacson. She said, "He just has a general lack of regard for city policies. He just thinks he's above all of it....Our lawyer said we should prosecute criminally."
Specific allegations mentioned in a press release sent out by those supporting the recall were that Isaacson used North Pole funds to buy personal meals, appointed a lender to head the North Pole's economic development corporation without disclosing that the lender had made a loan to Isaacson's now-defunct mortgage company, and that Isaacson did not enforce the city's sales tax on a restaurant in town, thus costing the city revenue.
Insurance agent Tammy Randolph and real estate agent Melissa Bidwell also helped lead the recall effort. Randolph said, "This is not a personal vendetta against Mayor Isaacson. It is simply to protect the city's assets. We believe the city finances have been mismanaged under Doug Isaacson's administration."
In late September, the recall group filed a complaint with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The complaint alleged that Isaacson spent taxpayer money to influence the outcome of the recall election.
Isaacson denied some of the allegations made against his administration by recall supporters, and with respect to others, said that there were differences of opinion and that none of the specifics cited in the recall petition rise to the level where he should be recalled. He also said, "Boy, if these people had put their energies into something productive for the city, imagine what we could move forward, but they have misrepresented the truth and that is tragic."
He rallied support for his cause, writing a letter to residents that said, "The saying ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ does not necessarily mean the fire is in the mayor’s office."
A group called "Support North Pole Mayor Isaacson: Oppose the Recall" formed to support Mayor Isaacson. Daphne Hofschulte and Linda Pierce were leaders with this group.
Path to the ballot
North Pole's city clerk certified the petition for circulation on June 10, so recall supporters had until August 10 to collect the 109 valid signatures.
On August 6, the recall committee turned in more than 120 signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.
- Laws governing recall in Alaska
- Recall campaigns in Alaska
- Mayoral recalls
- Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska ballot measures
- Alaska Dispatch, "Trouble brewing for North Pole mayor," June 1, 2010
- News Miner, "Cleworth wins Fairbanks mayoral race; Isaacson survives recall in North Pole," October 5, 2010
- News Miner, "Claims disputed in North Pole mayoral recall," October 3, 2010
- Juneau Empire, "Recall vote on North Pole mayor is set for October," August 6, 2010
- News Miner, "North Pole mayor recall group takes complaint to APOC," September 20, 2010
- News Miner, "North Pole mayor Doug Isaacson fights recall push," August 29, 2010
- News Miner, "Group forms to support mayor in North Pole recall," September 11, 2010
- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Residents try to recall North Pole mayor"
- KTUU, "Petition to recall mayor certified in North Pole," June 11, 2010