Oregon City commissioners unanimously voted "no confidence" in Mayor Dan Holladay after the city's two leading business groups testified at the commission's July 1 meeting.
Business owners have joined a wave of other community leaders in the past couple of weeks in supporting a formal recall petition against Holladay and urging him to resign to save the city the embarrassment and expense of a special election.
OC Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Victoria Meinig said this week that the chamber board voted to express its "serious concern" in Holladay's statements diminishing the struggles and experiences of people of color, thereby putting in jeopardy the chamber's mission to help foster a vibrant economy. Urging elected officials to take further action against the mayor, the chamber supported the City Commission's censure of Holladay and its investigation into the mayor's potential criminal violations.
"The mayor's recent actions have damaged the governmental and economic reputation of Oregon City to the detriment of our business community and economic development," Meinig said.
Downtown Oregon City Association President Zach Stokes said that the board unanimously voted to support the City Commission's resolution on inclusivity and racial justice, which was prompted during a June 7 emergency meeting by some of Holladay's comments.
"We are concerned for the long-lasting effects the city's perception regionally will have on all our citizens," Stokes said. "Practically speaking we have found that the current perception of our community in the region is negatively affecting our ability to fill vacant spaces in downtown."
Commission President Rachel Lyles Smith said that the city's censure of the mayor and investigation into his behavior stem from Holladay's repeated actions out of step with the community and other elected officials. Commissioners voted "no confidence" in Holladay because they could no longer trust him to represent the city.
"If anytime the mayor wanted to bring any of those policies to this commission, I would have happily had those conversations," Lyles Smith said. "We could have had those conversations as a body, and we could have made some policy decisions whether or not we wanted to send a letter to the governor."
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