Katie Lewis: Voters overwhelmingly recalled former city councilor, now returning candidate

Steve Johnson had his chance at leadership in Gladstone. He failed.

Voters overwhelmingly recalled Johnson from the Gladstone City Council in May 2017, because he prevented council members from accessing city attorney bills; verbally attacked Mayor-elect Tammy Stempel and Councilor Neal Reisner; and prevented Stempel from participating in city activities, working with city staff or requesting information she needed when transitioning.

As Gladstone's representative on a regional wastewater advisory committee, he announced, without authorization from City Council, he was no longer going to be a member of the committee, walking out during the meeting.

Johnson claims to be fiscally responsible; however, he held almost weekly secret meetings with former Mayor Tom Mersereau (currently a councilor running for reelection) and a former city administrator. Decisions made in those meetings cost the city over $1 million, causing the city to transfer its contingency fund, plus raiding its library and senior-center funds to cover the misuse.

Library Board members voted unanimously to request City Council replace Johnson as their liaison because he lacked transparency. He claimed members of the Library Board were "seditious" (planning to take over the City Council by force) in actions (as quoted in this paper). This was far from the truth!

Katie Lewis is a resident of Gladstone.

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