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Doug Neeley questions current mayor's support of library, says recall is about personality and unilateral actions

In his 200-word "statement of justification," Mayor Holladay essentially took credit for various projects that have been completed during his tenure as mayor, and indeed there are many. One project he mentions is the new Doug Neeleylibrary. The groundbreaking occurred soon after he took office, but he was not involved at all in the formation of the voter-approved library district which ultimately provided the funds for the new facilities, in the design selection of the facility, in the seeking approval from voters for the bonding required to fund the construction nor the awarding of the construction contract. These occurred over a period of time that involved many previous commissions. And this achievement was not only the product of those commissions, but also of the library boards, a building committee and years of active community involvement. I question his support of these efforts because, when we served together on the City Commission some 20 years ago, Dan Holladay referred to libraries as "dinosaurs." He did not seem to realize that libraries evolve to meet the changing needs of the community, but the voters realized this when they overwhelmingly supported both the district formation and the bond passage.

All mayors and commissioners can cite examples of successful projects that have occurred during their watches. But those successes were due not only to the commission actions but also due to the actions of advisory committees, dedicated staff and the support of the commissions' constituents.

This recall is not about the successful projects; it is about his personality. During commission deliberations, he often pontificates rather than discusses; he is frequently dismissive of input, not only from the public but also from his advisory committees and boards; and he is often rude to citizens and fellow commission members at meetings. In public his comments are designed to be divisive rather than unifying. He tries to take actions as mayor without the support of the Commission, which he is not authorized to do under Oregon City's charter. His only chartered powers are to make appointments to city boards and committees and to set the order of the agenda.

In his statement he states that he has "built strong relationships with local, county and state leaders." Is this why all four Oregon City commissioners have censured him and have signed the petition for his recall? Is this why the Oregon City School District superintendent supports his recall? Does he believe that his failed efforts to recall the chair of the Board of County Commissioners or the berating of the Oregon City Planning Commission fosters a "strong relation" (maybe a strong relation, but not a good one).

I am asking readers of this newspaper who voted in the Nov. 3 election to also vote in the Nov. 10 election to recall Dan Holladay if you have not already done so.

Doug Neeley is a former city commissioner and mayor.


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