Friday, June 13 2014, 09:54 PM CDT
Group takes first step to recall county commissioner
By Jessica De Nova/KTVL.com
GRANTS PASS, Ore.-Members of the Cherryl Walker Recall Committee marched into the Josephine County Clerk's office Friday morning to take the first step necessary to remove the County Commissioner from office.
"We got another two and a half years with Cherryl Walker and the leadership in the last 18 months has really shown a lot of people we can't continue it. It's gone downhill too fast," said chief petitioner, William Hunker.
Hunker said among the reasons for the recall was Walker's support of four ordinances to deal with the management and disposal of solid waste in the county, with 80 percent of voters disagreeing.
"Either she can't read and is not reading her electorate or she reads them and ignores them," said Hunker.
According to Hunker, Commissioner Walker also tried to remove public comment and called police multiple times during board of commissioner weekly meetings.
"Bothers me that we have government students from the high school sitting in and finding out this is how Josephine County works, is that we call the police if we have disagreements," said the chief petitioner.
The committee must wait for County Clerk, Art Harvey, to review the paperwork it submitted Friday. Harvey said he expected to have it reviewed by Tuesday.
"Once that has been done they have 90 days to collect signatures for a recall. It's based on the votes cast in the last gubernatorial race, 15 percent. What that equates to here in Josephine County, is they'll have to collect 4,994 signatures," said Harvey.
If the group succeeds in collecting enough signatures, Commissioner Walker will be notified and given five days to either resign, or file a statement of justification. If she chooses the latter, withing 35 days, county voters will decide whether or not Walker stays in office, with a majority vote.
"On the ballot there will be the initial statement by the chief petitioner saying why they believe the official should be recalled. There would also be a statement supplied by the official that's the subject of the recall saying why they believe they should stay in office," said Harvey.
The County Clerk said if the attempted recall is left in the hands of voters, there's a good chance the recall election will be held during November's general elections, saving the county printing and postage costs.
News10 tried to contact Cherryl Walker Friday, but did not hear back.
According to the Josephine County Clerk, the last successful recall of a commissioner was in 2011.
Harvey said if Commissioner Walker is recalled, the remaining commissioners will appoint someone to fill the position. Voters would get the opportunity to vote on whether or not to allow that assigned person to stay in office, in the next regularly scheduled election.