Grants Pass voters got their ballots this week in an election to recall five of their eight city councilors. Recall petitioners cite a variety of complaints, from violating open meetings law to creating a hostile work environment. The Grants Pass Daily Courier has been following the recall campaign from the beginning and is making space for the councilors to respond to charges as part of its coverage of the recall election.
None of the councilors is taking the recall lying down. All five have filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office, saying that the reasons the petitioners give are false. Now the pressure is on the petitioners to submit evidence to the Secretary of State’s office by September 4th to support their petition claims. Making false statements carries a penalty of $125,000 and five years in jail.
In addition to facing recall, city councilors had to comply with a recent public records request from The Daily Courier. It asked for all email related to city business for the month of June. The paper’s analysis said that councilors were not in compliance with the state’s open meetings law.
Are officials in your community facing a recall? Are you satisfied your elected officials are conducting public business in public? When do you think the time and expense of a recall campaign is justified to address grievances with public officials? Does a recall have to be successful to accomplish its aim?
- Jay Jones: One of two chief petitioners for the Grants Pass recall
- Bill Kangas: Grants Pass Council President
- Don Hamilton: Director of communications for Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown
- Dennis Roler: Editor of The Daily Courier