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Petitions to recall Kovash, Jones and Tan fail

Signatures were not turned in by 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday


The deadline for three of the four recall petitions against the West Linn City Council came and went Tuesday without any signatures being turned in at city hall.

With the 5 p.m. deadline past, the efforts to recall Mayor John Kovash and City Councilors Jenni Tan and Mike Jones have thus come to a close.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Petitions to recall Mayor John Kovash and Councilors Jones and Tan failed Tuesday when the deadline for submissions passed. Petitions to recall Councilor Jody Carson are due today.

"The recall was not a complete waste of time," Kovash said. "It did reaffirm the good job the council and staff are doing for the citizens of West Linn."

Petitions to recall Councilor Jody Carson are not due until Thursday before 5 p.m., but petitioner Karie Oakes said she did not expect those would be filed either.

"While we did not get the number of signatures required to hold the recall election, we did succeed in our goal of bringing public awareness to the way the council and city manager circumvented the public process in numerous decisions affecting the entire city," Oakes said. "Nearly 1,800 people signed each of the petitions, so the council should no longer ignore and discount the concerns of outspoken citizens as that of only a few."

The four petitioners — Oakes, Reena Heijdeman, E. Marie Horvath and Curt Sommer — began the recall effort back in December, alleging that the city councilors broke their oaths of office by violating public meetings laws, “failing to represent the best interests of West Linn citizens,” “ignoring recommendations from city advisory boards and commissions” and “failing to assert proper control and direction over the city manager and city attorney.”

Many of the petitioners’ claims centered around the Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership project, which was approved by the city council in February 2013. That decision was remanded by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, but ultimately upheld in a Jan. 13 hearing.

With their paperwork officially approved by the city and Secretary of State Elections division, the petitioners were given 90 days to gather the 1,844 signatures for each elected official — 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last governor’s race — required to prompt an election.

Tuesday marked the final deadline to turn in signatures to recall Kovash, Tan and Jones. Sommer, who filed to recall Carson, omitted three pieces of information in his original paperwork and was forced to refile, thus resulting in an extended deadline to Thursday.

In the meantime, Jones said that Tuesday's events marked "a very positive outcome."

"Citizens of West Linn want to build things up and not tear things down," Jones said. "I serve on city council because I want to work in a community where we move forward and in a positive manner, in spite of some adversity."

"I'm thankful for this positive result and I am grateful for the community's support," Tan said. "The council can now continue to focus on our goals and strengthen citizen engagement."



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