Mayor of Creswell abruptly resigns

Richard Zettervall said he could not remain mayor due to the negativity surrounding an equity and inclusion resolution.

Posted: Oct 1, 2020 9:03 PM
Updated: Oct 2, 2020 11:40 AM

CRESWELL, Ore.-- The mayor of Creswell resigned Wednesday after a resolution on equity and inclusion was pushed aside from discussion during a recent work session.

Richard Zettervall, the now-former mayor, sent a letter to the city manager, city council, and city staff announcing his resignation. In it he said he can no longer serve as mayor after witnessing the council ignore an equity resolution.

Here is what he said:

"The topic of Equity and Inclusion should not be partisan or controversial in any way. However, at Monday evening’s Council work session I was extremely disheartened when the meeting concluded without the ability for Council to reach a consensus to bring the tabled Equity Resolution back, just to be able to talk about its possible future. There is never the right time to talk about Equity and Inclusion, but it must be addressed and should not be pushed aside because of public perception."

The Equity Resolution was introduced at an Aug. 24 work session meeting. In light of recent social movements across the country, the council initially agreed to create something to address equity and inclusion in Creswell. In the resolution, the city council would publicly denounce all actions that promote hate and create an equity commission.

That commission would be appointed by the mayor and consist of nine members with three year terms. The main duties of the members would be advising the council on how to create policies that are inclusive to everyone in the Creswell community.

On the city of Creswell's website, it now reads vacant under the mayor's position. According to the Creswell city charter, the city council president will take over the mayor's duties until a new mayor is found. The current council president is Amy Knudsen.

According to chapter 7 section 32 of the city charter, the council will appoint someone to finish out the term of the mayor. The mayor's term ends in December 2020. 

This is a developing story.

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