Unity City Council resigns

April 01, 2002 11:00 pm

By JAYSON JACOBY

Of the Baker City Herald

All five members of the Unity City Council resigned Monday.

One councilor, Glynn Murphy, had been the target of a recall effort.

He, along with mayor Eddie June Greenwood and councilors Karen Boehlke, Jerry Hunter and Rex Schoorl, resigned during Mondays council meeting, said City Recorder Connie Murphy, who is Glynn Murphys wife.

Connie Murphy, who has worked for the city for about eight months, said she will resign, as well, effective today.

She earns $10 per hour and works about 10 to 12 hours per week. She is the citys only paid employee.

Because Unitys city charter does not include a process for appointing new councilors should all five members resign, under state statute that responsibility reverts to the Baker County commissioners, County Clerk Tami Green said.

Commissioners will appoint three councilors, probably during the commissions meeting Wednesday, she said.

Those three appointed councilors will appoint two others, Green said.

Glynn Murphy said this morning that he decided to resign because he was frustrated.

Weve got a real problem in this county, and maybe its the same everywhere, that every time a public official makes a decision someone doesnt agree with, they start a recall, he said. Its totally out of hand.

Murphy and three of the other councilors also submitted letters of resignation.

In his letter, Murphy wrote that he believes Steve Bradford and Don Kandle, the two Unity residents who led the effort to recall him from the council, have launched a witch-hunt for their own personal reasons.

They focused their campaign on false accusations, exaggerations, and outright lies, Murphy wrote.

Bradford said this morning that he was out of town during the Easter weekend and had not heard about the councils resignation.

Bradford said he had sought to recall Murphy because rights right and wrongs wrong. I want to thank all the people who participated.

Bradford said that because there are legal matters pending, he had no other comment now.

On the recall petition, Bradford wrote that: We disagree with how Glynn Murphy has voted to spend city funds and do not feel that he is representing the majority of the peoples views in the city of Unity.

Bradford and Kandle had collected 25 signatures from registered voters in Unity 15 more than were needed to force the recall election, Green said.

That election would have taken place May 7 had Murphy not resigned, she said.

In his resignation letter, Murphy wrote that he was disappointed that 23 city residents had joined Bradford and Kandle in signing the recall petition.

It appears, unfortunately, that 25 people in this community do not want this to be a better place to live. I will not work for, or be involved with, an organization with this large of a contingent that does not want to improve itself.

The other resigning councilors made similar statements in their letters.

Greenwood, the mayor, wrote that: I feel that the whole city council has worked together to try and create a win/win situation for all when a select few want to do nothing unless it is a total benefit for themselves with no consideration for their neighbors.

Although Bradford wouldnt delve into the details of why he wanted to recall Murphy, he did say his effort had absolutely nothing to do with his dispute with the city over a water and sewer bill.

Connie Murphy said Bradford had failed to pay the bill for a mobile home park he owns.

According to city records, he last paid the city in December 2000. Murphy said the city shut off water to Bradfords property in September 2001.

According to Baker Justice Court records, on Feb. 22, 2002, Judge Larry Cole ordered Bradford to pay the city $3,978.40.

Bradford said he was planning the recall effort before the issue arose over his water and sewer bill.

Connie Murphy said she believes the campaign to recall her husband was based in part on his and the councils proposal to enact anti-nuisance ordinances, which would prohibit residents from storing abandoned vehicles on their property and also require that they control weeds and other potential fire hazards.

Such an ordinance had not yet been brought before the council for a vote.