Tiny town recalls pro-growth council members


Voters in this Lake County town, Pop. about 250, have recalled three city council members who dared to even to think about growth.

Rose Bagley, Ken Hamlington and Larry Duckworth were trounced in an election Tuesday with an 82 percent turnout.

"I was going to be shocked either way," Mayor Dale Roberts said of the voting.

Councilman Bob Davis was among those signing recall petitions.

Recall leaders were upset because the three were discussing ideas aimed at adding businesses""and people.

Until the closure of the Paisley mill about 10 years ago, the city had 350 residents. It's even smaller now and voters apparently like it that way. People are plainspoken and tell it like it is.

A few summers back a visitor entered the town restaurant and mentioned the withering heat. "Honey," the waitress said, "There ain't nothin' here but a screen door between you and hell."

It wouldn't have happened in Portland. But size brings other concerns.

"I do want growth. We need growth," Roberts said.

Hamlington and Bagley were appointed in January after there was only one candidate for three open seats.

Hamlington said they ran on the idea of adding another 150 people in Paisley and another 40 students. "Everybody knew that."

Growth is necessary, he said, to preserve the school, which has 77 students, including 13 international exchange students, from kindergarten through high school.

He the school may have to close and bus students to Lakeview or Christmas Valley, each more than 60 miles away, and that that would cause more people to leave.

Recall proponents objected to support by the three for the city taking ownership of the county-owned airport and for a nuisance/health and safety ordinance most people seem to oppose.

Duckworth also said he thought people wanted limited growth.

"They spoke out. They don't want any growth," he said.

The three council members had discussed growth possibilities such as an assisted living facility, a skate park, a casino, an equestrian center, mini-mall, an RV park and an industrial park.

But it didn't play in Paisley.

"We got recalled for ideas, not for some action we took," said Duckworth. "We were recalled for thinking, not for doing."

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