Petition to recall Mayor Charlie Hales approved

Ray Horton wants to recall the mayor, Commissioner Steve Novick

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — One man’s campaign to recall Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick took a step forward Monday.

Ray Horton of Portland began a recall notice of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, July 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Ray Horton of Portland began a recall notice of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, July 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Ray Horton filed the petitions with the City Auditor’s office recently. The petition to recall Novick was approved days ago, and the one against Hales was approved Monday.

Even though he said he voted for both men, Horton said he is upset with their plans for a street maintenance fee.

The deadline to submit 34,921 signatures to the City Auditor’s office for Novick’s recall petition is October 9, 2014. The reason for both recalls, as stated on the petitions, is  “Failure to exercise fiduciary durites of his office, specifically regarding management of public funds and initiation and application of taxes.”

On May 22, Novick said, “If the voters are really mad at us, we’re both up for election in 2016. They can throw us out.”

Now that a recall petition has been approved by the City Auditor, Novick took a broader view of the action.

“If I were doing nothing about the condition of our streets, then I would deserve to be recalled.”

Hales also remained firm.

“The facts are still the facts, and I stand by those facts. I’m not doing this to be popular, obviously,” the mayor said. “I’m doing this because we either take care of our streets, or pass them on to our children and grandchildren in much worse condition with a much bigger bill.”

Horton, the man behind the recall effort, said, “There’s a serious problem with the way the city government, particularly Hales and Novick, are approaching taking money from the people without listening to the people.”

Trying to recall a Portland city official — especially two of them at once — will be an uphill battle. It hasn’t happened successfully since 1952.

Hales and Novick are pushing ahead with their street fee proposal as business and community leaders meet in work groups to determine a fair way to pay.

“Doing nothing,” Novick said, “is just not an option.”

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