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City councilor says she won't resign, will face recall election


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Friday is the deadline for Eugene Ward 7's councilor Claire Syrett to resign - and she says she won't.

Lane County Elections confirmed Tuesday that petitions contained enough valid signatures to initiate a recall election against her.

"I am not planning on resigning. I will be submitting the required form to the city recorder probably right after I get off this interview with you," Syrett told us. "5 other councilors voted the same way I did. I am the only one facing a recall."

Petitioners saying how they're frustrated it has had to get to this point.

"We know how people throughout the city that are contacting us in support of recalling Claire Syrett and sending a strong message to the city council that they want changes. so we're feeling good about it but it's a sad thing that has to be done," said Ward 7 resident Meta Maxwell.

This recall effort following her support of the city's MovingAhead plan.

"The people in this community really want large consequential items like the MovingAhead project or other things in the community to be put to a vote of the people," said Maxwell. "Not decided by a handful of people on the city council or LTD board."

Petitioners claiming it will overhaul public transit and road construction in parts of Eugene.

"We have huge traffic problems there," said Mark Osterloh. "We're going to turn that into another Los Angeles traffic jam? It would make things really unbearable for these people."

Says Maxwell, "In all of these years, this public engagement has really been a farce."

"The recall is about way more than MovingAhead if in fact they can use this process to replace a duly elected official based on a single vote that they took. That in my estimation is undermining our democratic process, and this is a misuse of the recall system," said Syrett.

Syrett standing by her decision.

"Having the ability to have a reliable, regular transportation option there for folks could make a significant difference for people who either can't drive or don't want to drive," said Syrett.

Her constituents, pushing for change.

"This is a group that really wants what's best for the community and wants people to have complete transparency and real participation from the beginning," said Maxwell.

"There's going to be a fight out there, and we have a lot of people that are wanting to join us to oppose her and have her recalled. So, it's going to be a fight," Osterloh said.

And Syrett's message to her constituents:

"My outreach to voters will be to reject the recall. I don't believe a single issue like this should be the reason to reject a public official."

The city will hold a special election for Ward 7 voters.

A simple majority is sufficient to remove her from office.

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If the recall effort is successful, the remaining seven city councilors will choose Syrett's successor.

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