Gervais recall succeeds

Ballot drop box in downtown Gervais, just outside of Gervais City Hall, is one place where Gervais residents can cast their ballot regarding the current recall election. The mayor and three city councilors are named on the recall ballot.
Staff Photo: Justin Much

Voters in the city of Gervais recalled the city’s mayor and three city councilors on Tuesday, June 18.

Initial results from the Marion County Elections Clerk’s Office Tuesday evening show that voters recalled Mayor Annie Gilland by 61% in favor of the recall to 39% opposed.

The same fate followed with the city councilors on the recall ballot. Voters favored the recall of Councilor John Harvey by roughly 62% to 38%; Councilor Michael Gregory 61% to 39%; Councilor Rob Ladd 63% to 37%; 

Recall proponents began petitioning for the effort immediately following the dismissal of former Gervais Police Chief Mark Chase, who had been one among a inordinately large number of successive departures from the city of Gervais over the previous year, including a seasoned city manager, interim city manager, city recorder, police officer, legal services and a court/water clerk.

Last year two councilors, Micky Wagner and Pamela Foreman, were recalled by roughly 55% to 45% margins. Fewer than 20% of the city’s 1,449 registered voters cast ballots in that recall. Elections Clerk’s Office unofficial results of this latest recall show 29% of the city’s current 1,481 registered voters turned in ballots.

The results are normally certified after 21 days.

Oregon Municipal Handbook notes that: “Vacancies resulting from a recall are treated the same as vacancies caused by death or resignation. Typically, city charter provisions call for such vacancies to be filled by city council appointment.”

For example, when Wagner and Foreman were recalled, the Gervais council named Ladd and Joel Ramon to complete their terms. However, the latest recall has left the Gervais City Council without a quorum, as Ramon and Baltazar Gonzalez are the only representatives remaining on the council.

Sources close to the Gervais scenario said a recall situation that renders a council without a quorum elicits mediation from the board of county commissioners, which would be charged with filling enough vacant positions to lift the local governing body into quorum standing. At that point, the council could continue filling vacancies until a full body is achieved.

That protocol has yet to be confirmed by the Marion County commission or the clerk’s office.

All elected positions in Gervais, mayor and councilors, will be on the November ballot.

Contact Keizertimes Staff:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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