Ken Hern, the chief petitioner, says there have been issues involving two city council members–Pam Bryant and Gary Reese–since they entered office in 2011.
“There’s been controversy, dissention from the beginning,” Hern said.
About two weeks ago, Hern and the other members of the recall committee created a petition to remove Bryant and Reese from the their positions. Hern says they’ve collected more than 1,000 signatures in the community in favor of the recall.
There are a number of reasons Kern says the petition is necessary, but the most recent issue had to do with an open city council position. He says 13 community members applied but were not all given the same opportunity.
“Miss Bryant and Mr. Reese voted not to interview,” Hern said.
In the recall committee’s opinion, the two councilors are not helping the community move forward.
“These people have not proposed anything to help Lowell grow,” Hern said.
Councilors and Reese and Bryant say the recall petition is baseless. They say neither of them has broken the law and removing them just months before their terms are over will be a major cost to the community.
“This is going to cost the City of Lowell taxpayers between $1,200 and $1,700, according to the elections division. Plus City Attorney Time, plus staff time,” Reese said.
Reese is referring to the cost of a special election if the councilors are recalled. Both councilors say they will not resign.
If the petition is valid, they will put the decision to the voters. The city administrator took an initial tally of the collected signatures Friday. Those signatures will now go to Lane County Elections. If they verify that there are enough valid signatures, then the city council members will have five days to respond.