Refuse to sign recall petitions

None of our city councilors should be recalled.

Endless recalls lacking in justifiable cause are not the substance of democracy. Many in the next few weeks will try to convince us otherwise. They will be wrong.

In a democracy we hold elections to choose our leaders. Once elected they are given a term, an agreed-upon length of time, in which to accomplish the political objectives they touted during the election. In American democracy we value checks and balances. Elections and terms are two such levers to hold elected leaders in account. In extreme measures, we have a process of removal, be it an impeachment or a recall, to evaluate specific issues of leadership that would be of such grave concern as to disqualify an elected official from finishing his or her term.

We respect the right of the voting public to initiate a recall. But in these instances, we urge people to put down the pens and refuse to sign. A recall is not warranted.

Have any of our elected leaders blatantly lied to us? Have they acted in a way to dishonor the city? Have they misled the voters who supported them by acting in ways diametrically opposed to their campaign platforms? Have they done so without explanation to the voters?

Have any of our elected officials conducted criminal acts since being elected? Have they been found so incompetent that a significant majority of residents would clamor for their resignation?

No. These recalls are politically motivated, with the goal of undoing the results of the last election.

The triumvirate of Councilors Hartzell, Hardesty and Navickas have remained reasonably true to the platforms upon which they were elected. They have vowed to defeat the expansion of the ski area on Mount Ashland. They have favored legislation that would create affordable housing, slow growth and diversify the economy away from tourism.

We have certainly taken issue with many of these principles, but we did so in both of the most recent elections. We didn't endorse any of these three councilors. But the voters did. They won. They earned the right to govern as they promised they would.

Likewise, we applaud the efforts of other councilors to not give these three a blank check to pay for their agenda. The tax ramifications of many of their goals could negatively impact the economy. The lack of support for the local business community is short-sighted and narrow-minded.

Further, David Chapman, who we took to task for his lackluster campaign, has proven to be an independent thinker, emotionally involved in the process and at times a critic of the council's ineffectiveness. His position on several issues has emerged. This emergence may earn him critics among those who expected absolute loyalty, but it certainly doesn't warrant a recall effort.

Before things go too far astray, we would encourage voters to send a message loud and clear to our city government. Refuse to sign these various recall petitions. Force this council to do the job they were elected to do. Most importantly, let's honor democracy, and the process of a fair election that put these people into office. The voters have spoken, and we see nothing that warrants forcing them to speak again earlier than the next election.

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