CRESWELL, Ore. — Three local city officials called it quits. The city administrator and two councilors for the City of Creswell turned in letters of resignation Monday night.
While City Administrator Mark Shrives’ resignation was expected, that of the two councilors–Mike Anderson and Jean McKittrick–was much more of a surprise. While some say it was because of miscommunication over the placement of a weather system, others say it’s much more than that, rather tension dating back years.
There were cheers and support as the two councilors stepped down from office Monday night. Both noted the dysfunctional nature of the group as their reason to move on.
Remaining members are reflecting on the resignations as they work to move forward. One fellow member echoed their sentiments noting the ongoing battle of the placement of an aviation weather system as an example.
“There had just been a real lack of communication between city council, our engineers who are building this thing and the staff…City council was misled, misinformed and that essentially led to the resignation of my two former colleagues,” said AJ O’Connell, Creswell City Councilor.
But the mayor says reasons runs deeper.
“That was not the issue. That was not what brought the resignations about…Since I was elected last November, my main priority has been to rebuild relationships with members of the community, members of the council and staff. Those relationships have been strained for a couple of years,” said Dave Stram, Mayor of Creswell.
The mayor says they will continue to mend those broken bridges for the good of the city and its people.
“Things only happen when people work together. People have to be able to communicate, resolve differences, agree to disagree and still be civil with one another…So without relationships, nothing good happens,” Stram said.
As for the community, while the news was a surprise, they have faith in the remaining elected officials.
“I guess as far as concerns, I don’t have any concerns for the City of Creswell. Someone will fill in for them and take over…I know the positions will be filled by responsible people,” said Creswell resident Brandon Lyons.
Some councilors say filling these three positions can seem daunting, but it may be the best thing for them at this point in time.