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In Oakridge, A Recall Effort Against Mayor Who Wanted City Administrator Ousted

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Rick Obst
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The Mayor of Oakridge finds himself the target of a recall effort, after his unsuccessful push to have the city administrator removed from office. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Don Reesman is on the city planning commission, and one of those gathering signatures to have Mayor Jim Coey recalled.

Reesman declined to be recorded, but told KLCC “We’re trying to get rid of some bad stuff here.” He also declined to name a fellow commissioner involved in the recall effort.

Coey wanted city administrator Louis Gomez either to resign or not have his contract renewed. Reesman says the mayor met privately with two other councilors to that end, which he says violates Oregon’s public meeting laws.

At a special meeting last week, the city council approved Gomez’s contract for another year on a 4-to-3 vote. 

Coey did not return calls for comment. A Register-Guard article says the mayor and city administrator clashed over travel expenses from a trip Coey made to Nashville in March.

Recall proponents need roughly 180 signatures within 90 days to enact a recall vote. Coey would then have five days to resign, or face a recall election.

Mayor Coey will leave office in nine months regardless, due to term limits. 

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.