Camping World takes down flagpole, will negotiate on fine
Now that Camping World has taken down the American flagpole it put up in March without first receiving a permit to do so, the Wilsonville government and the company will need to negotiate how much the business will pay in fines.
Camping World had the pole up for nearly 180 days and, according to code, the city could issue a fine of up to $500 for each day it was up. Therefore the maximum fine could be around $88,000. The city filed a petition earlier this year with Clackamas County Circuit Court to induce Camping World to remove the pole. The American flag was flying for a brief period before a court order led to its removal, but the pole remained in place until this month.
City Attorney Barbara Jacobson said she had planned to discuss the fine amount with the Camping World attorney this week. If they can't come to an agreement, the figure could be determined in court. Jacobson added that Wilsonville City Council will have the final say as to whether to accept a specific fine amount unless the total is decided in court.
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis took to social media on occasion this year to criticize the city's position in the matter.
Lemonis tweeted in May that Camping World would "fight" to put the flag back up and said the city's position that the pole was a public safety hazard was inaccurate.
With that in mind, Wilsonville City Councilor Ben West said the severity of the fine should be based on the level of the business's cooperation and reasonability throughout the process.
"I was really shocked how combative (they were) and how they misrepresented the character and position of the council and the city. I don't like that," West said.
Wilsonville Mayor Julie Fitzgerald declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
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