Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Reader questions the rationale behind the effort to recall the Newberg mayor and councilor

To the editor:

Along with the rest of Newberg, I have been surprised to learn of the effort to recall the mayor and a council member.

I'm assuming most of us have been frustrated and deeply disappointed upon learning of the turmoil that has emerged from city operations and personnel over the last year. But to be concerned about it certainly does not mean I support the recall effort, for the following reasons:

Primarily, as I've re-read the materials available through the Graphic to date, it seems to me there is a fundamental mismatch of the problem and the proposed solution. All of my personal experience with and observation of problems such as those that beset Newberg reveal that such problems do not arise overnight but take significant time developing, often long before being known among the public.

Therefore, a question arises as to why the proposed recall is focused on the newest members of our civic leadership team? That flat out doesn't make sense to me.

In fact, if the proposed recall were logical it would try to remove the longer-serving members, not the newcomers. (Please note that I'm not suggesting we do that!)

This mismatch between the problem is so obvious that I'm led to wonder how the petitioner arrived at the proposed solution of a recall. It seems somewhat likely there are unstated or hidden rational. This makes me quite uneasy, to say the least.

Second, the timing doesn't make sense to me. Newberg's new leadership team has just gotten together and made quite significant progress on these issues. So why rush to oust them?

Third, moves such as a recall are a poor management tool to solve management problems. I think it would be better to let the leadership continue to address and resolve the problems together.

While I appreciate the unique "Oregon system" (initiative, referendum and recall), each should be used judiciously, not haphazardly.

Fourth, how would I feel if the recall was targeted at my brother or sister, a cousin or my neighbor? While this should carry much less weight than the above reasons, it nudges us to remember we are dealing with real people – neighbors.

We would wisely avoid thinking of anyone involved as the enemy (as our wider culture is so prone), but as a person or neighbor with whom we disagree.

It is for these reasons that I strongly oppose the proposed recall and encourage others to do the same.

Doug Bartlett, Newberg


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