The Lincoln City Clerk-Recorder has announced that citizens seeking to remove Mayor Don Williams from office have been given permission to begin gathering voter signatures to recall him in a special election.
Clerk-Recorder Cathy Steere says citizens have until February 2 of next year to collect at least 456 signatures from registered voters to place the recallk on a special ballot. Whenever those signatures are collected and verified, a recall election will be held by law within 40 days according to Lincoln County Clerk Dana Jenkins.
Jenkins says once the voter signatures are gathered, they are turned into his office where they are verified. If a minimum of 456 voter signatures are verified Mayor Williams will be notified of the results and will be officially asked whether he disagrees with the petitioners or whether he will leave office. He’s got five days to make up his mind. If he decides to remain in office, he would be expected to file a statement of why he should remain in office – the statement appearing on the recall ballot right next to the petitioners statement as to why the mayor should be removed from office.
If after five days Mayor Williams decides to challenge his recall a special election will be held within 30 days.
Cost of the election is estimated at about $8,000 – the cost to be paid for by the city.
Here is the petitioner’s statement of why Mayor Williams should be removed from office.
“Lincoln City Charter (LCC), subsection 4.5 states the mayor’s function at city council meetings is to “preserve order, enforce the rules of the council and determine the order of business under the rules of the council.” LCC subsection 5 states, “The mayor shall be deemed a member of the council and have the same rights as other council members.” LCC subsection 4.8 states, “A member of the council shall not coerce or attempt to coerce the city manager or any other city employee in carrying out the duties of the office,” and “A violation of this subsection may occasion the censure or removal from office of the offending member of the council, by the council or a court of competent jurisdiction.
During the October 24th, 2016 Lincoln City City Council meeting, the mayor censored City Coucilors and threatened citizens and Councilors with arrest. This may only occur after further intervention from the Sergeant at Arms and a police officer. The mayor has no authority to have anybody arrested. Donald Williams has exceeded the scope of his authority as mayor and has caused citizens to avoid city council meetings for fear of arrest.
We the citizens of Lincoln City petition to recall Mayor Williams.”