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Recall effort targets three Cottage Grove city councilors

The front of the Cottage Grove city hall.
Chris Lehman
Cottage Grove's city hall, as seen on April 5, 2023.

A Cottage Grove resident has started an effort to recall three Cottage Grove city councilors if Michael Bork can gather 654 valid signatures by October 23rd, the recall effort will trigger a special election.

KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with Amanda Lurey, a reporter with the Chronicle newspaper who's been covering the recall effort.

Amanda, which city councilors are Borke seeking to recall and why?

John Stinnett, Mike Fleck and Chalice Savage and he chose those three because he said that they had not listened to him in prior city council meetings when he would, address things in public forum. And he seems to also have an issue with how they've handled the homeless issue in Cottage Grove.

How have the targeted counselors responded?

The overall feeling seems to just be disappointment in the fact that the public may not trust them. But Savage did say that she was mostly concerned about the taxpayers because they were gonna have to pay for the special election.

You've kind of touched on this already. But what can you tell us about these three counselors? And is there anything that they're doing differently from the rest of the council?

I don't believe they're doing anything differently than the rest. I think it's just a matter of viewpoints. And, you know, Richard Myers once told me that no one's ever going to fully agree. That's what government is all about. And, you know, the counselors don't have to agree on everything, but they do respect each other and I think those three in particular may just agree on a certain issue.

Just to clarify Richard Myers is the city manager. So, what have you heard from Cottage Grove residents about the recall effort?

It seems to be a mixed bag. There are some residents who are writing letters to the editor to the Chronicle expressing their disappointment and frustrations with the potential of having to pay for a special election. And there are also residents who are quickly and happily signing Michael Borke’s signature petitions regarding that process for the recall effort.

Can you can update us on that effort? Do you have a sense of how successful Borke has been in gathering signatures?

Well, I'm unsure how many signatures he has at this very moment. I think that's something we're all going to find out on October 23rd or potentially a little after that since he has until five pm to turn in those signatures. But he seems rather confident that he's gonna get it done. Some others don't seem so confident he's gonna get it done. And I think we're all just gonna find out on the 23rd.

Anything else you want to add or anything else that's worth noting?

I think it's a matter of this has never happened in Cottage Grove or at least in the last 26 years.

So it's very interesting to see the process play out and I guess we'll all just see what happens next.

Amanda Lurey is a reporter with the Chronicle which covers local news in Springfield Creswell Cottage Grove and Pleasant Hill.

You can listen to their conversation using the audio player at the top of this story.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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