Home Opinion Editorials Vote "No" on recall
Vote "No" on recall
Take a moment to read the Petition for Recall of Gary Dielman, City Councilor.
Gary Dielman is wasting his time, and ours, on the Baker City Council. Mr. Dielman objects that the council has voted to open its meetings with prayer. The U.S. Congress and the Oregon Legislature open with prayer. The Baker City Council has every right to do so, but he continues to disrupt City Council meetings because of it. Additionally Mr. Dielmans actions at the June 26 meeting of the City Council could have resulted in lost revenue from proposed fee increases on building permits. Mr. Dielman chose to delay implementing the new fees. When asked why, he said it was because of the way the prayer issue was handled at a previous council meeting. His action of holding city government hostage is unacceptable. Prayer is no longer an issue for any councilor except Mr. Dielman. Baker City is a community that respects majority rule. Mr. Dielman has said he will not accept the City Councils decision. He has bullied and intimidated fellow councilors and citizens because they disagree with him. Democracy is based on majority rule, but Mr. Dielman says majority rule is the tyranny of the majority. This is unacceptable. Therefore, we believe he should be recalled.
The three key issues we see in petitioner John DeShiros complaint are:
o Wasting time by objecting that the council has voted to open its meetings with prayer.
o Lost revenue by delaying a council vote which would implement new building permit fees.
o Mr. Dielmans lack of acceptance of majority rule and the councils vote to continue the prayer.
That is the question being put to voters: Is Mr. Dielmans public conduct in office, as outlined in the recall complaint, so egregious that he cannot be allowed to complete the final 12 months of his term in office?
We agree that Mr. Dielman has not always used the best judgment in presenting his point of view. But we do not think a dissenting voice in any body of government should be snuffed out simply because it doesnt agree with the majority.
A recall petition mounted for just such a purpose represents a frightening prospect for the citizens of Baker County, and threatens the prospective candidacy of minority voices in future elections.
Recalls should be reserved for the direst of circumstances. For an elected official to be removed before the next scheduled election, his or her actions would have to threaten the public welfare.
We dont believe Gary Dielmans activities warrant a recall.
We also dont believe the advertising campaign commissioned by the Citizens for Responsible Government is accurate.
The ads state Mr. Dielman is opposed to the Pledge of Allegiance.
The proof for that accusation is flimsy at best. Mr. Dielman admits he once questioned the Pledges appropriateness at a business meeting, but has never once asked the council to vote to remove the Pledge from the councils meetings.
He has, in contrast, stood and taken part in the Pledge at every council meeting he has attended since taking office. Does this sound like a man who opposes the Pledge? No.
Rejected the Oath of Office? Go to City Hall and ask the council staff if this is an accurate assessment of what took place when Dielman took office. The answer is No. He took the oath he was required to take by law.
Fails to represent all citizens? City Council is a place where representatives of our diverse population gather to conduct the citys business. Each brings a unique voice to the table and, we hope, represents different but overlapping segments of the population. One councilor cant hope to represent all of Baker Citys citizens; one City Council made up of seven people can.
No, it is the activities of the Citizens for Responsible Government that we find chilling.
Their marching orders appear to be win at all costs not only financially, but at the expense of the truth. Without an issue to stand on, they have resorted to distortion and character assassination to try to paint Dielman as an undesirable person. Rid our troubled community of him, the ads suggest, and we can bring back the pride.
But there is nothing to be proud of in this campaign. If they succeed in ousting Gary Dielman, who will run for City Council in his place? Who will put their businesses, their families and their futures in harms way as an elected official?
Only those who know that their viewpoint will not run counter to the majority and its willingness to silence you at almost any cost.
John DeShiro, the recall petitioner, has claimed many times that this recall is not about prayer. We agree.
The issue is whether we as citizens must agree with the majority or face being run out of office and silenced.
The Citizens for Responsible Government has brought politics at its worst to Baker City.
No one should stand for that.
Join us in voting No on the recall.