Friday, November 7, 2014

Council Candidate Ron Boozell Calls for Recusal of Endorsing Councilors from Residency Decision

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM


Bend City Council candidate Ron "Rondo" Boozell is calling for councilors who publicly endorsed or supported candidates in the race to recuse themselves from anything to do with vacating or filling seat 6, currently the subject of a lawsuit alleging councilor-elect Casey Roats is does not meet the qualifications laid out in the City Charter. Boozell was one of the candidates running against Roats for position 6 and came in third place on Tuesday's election winning close to 8 percent of the vote. 

"It is my opinion that each City Councilor that used his or her position on Council during this election to endorse or promote or campaign publicly for a City Council Candidate has compromised their ability to select without bias a resident qualified to fill a vacancy on council, or determine qualification that might create that vacancy," Boozell wrote in a release. 

It's unclear whether Council will take the issue on. Some councilors have previously expressed reluctance toward being the deciding body, citing a similar concern regarding the split support for candidates among council members. Mayor Jim Clinton told the Source yesterday that the issue may be out of their hands.

"This issue is now before the court, so I don't have any comment until a judge issues a decision," Clinton said. "I think it very unlikely the Council will take up this issue until such a decision is released."

Even if the question of Roats' qualification is addressed by the Deschutes County Circuit Court, City Council would still have the option to appoint a candidate within 30 days of the creation of a vacancy. Council is permitted to appoint any qualified person, and is not required to appoint a previous candidate. But Boozell said he doesn't think potential-biased councilors should weigh in on that decision either, instead proposing a special election (permitted by the charter if the Council does not make an appointment). 

"I ask for a special public ballot to be printed as soon as possible, so the residents of Bend may choose between the remaining qualified candidates that appeared on the November 4th ballot," Boozell said. "If a candidate is found to have not met the residence requirements, then the November Ballot and the voting results from that ballot are skewed, and unrepresentative. If this is the case, then the people of Bend have been robbed of a fair election, and a true choice based on their values and judgement."

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