Ned Piper and Merritt Ketcham recall, Cowlitz County PUD Commissioners, Washington, 2009
Judge Stephen Warning said that the charges for recall lacked "legal sufficiency. "It is not for me to determine if the allegations are true, just to determine if there is a basis beyond mere belief or surmise for the allegations," Warning said.
On February 6, county attorneys approved the ballot language of the recall petition, which was initially rejected the previous week because it did not include an oath from petitioners, according to Cowlitz County Auditor Kris Swanson.
Kelso City Councilman Dan Myers and former city planning commissioner Jerry Reagor headed up the recall committee. The second petition included Bill Ammons, a Castle Rock resident who owns a Kelso barbershop, along with Piper and Ketcham.
If a judge had ruled the petition valid, recall petitioners then would have needed to collect about 6,100 signatures to make the ballot.
The recall was put into action after “overly generous” annual salary increases to PUD senior staff, ranging from 4 percent to 22 percent, according to the petitioners.