Rainier council recall petition appears to have necessary signatures

2011-11-07T20:15:00Z 2012-01-08T17:30:10Z Rainier council recall petition appears to have necessary signaturesBy Marqise Allen / The Daily News Longview Daily News
November 07, 2011 8:15 pm  • 

The Rainier resident aiming to recall City Councilmen Dave Langford and Russ Moon says he has collected enough signatures to put a measure before voters.

Don Puckett said he has collected more than 150 signatures, 40 more than necessary, in the past week. He planned to submit his petition Monday to Columbia County's election office. The elections office will have to validate that there are enough signatures from registered voters who live within the Rainier city limits. A determination is expected by Thursday.

"It didn't take me long," Puckett said. "I'm not surprised."

Puckett accused Langford and Moon of making "back-door agreements" and publicly insulting city employees and council members.

"From what I hear from prominent people, these guys are bullies pushing their weight around," Puckett said last Thursday.

Following an executive session meeting early last week to discuss an ongoing lawsuit, Mayor Jerry Cole said Moon "blew up" at him, according to the Clatskanie Chief. Moon left council chambers telling Cole "Up yours!"

Cole said the incident left him with no other choice but to support the recall.

"I hate to see anything come to this level," Cole said. "But the actions of Counselor Moon sealed my decision."

Moon declined comment.

Cole said it would cost the city of Rainier about $2,500 to put the recall measures on a ballot.

"I have no problem with people disagreeing, but there has to be respect for the process," Cole said.

Once elections officials determine the recall has enough valid signatures, Moon and Langford would be given five days to decide whether to resign or submit a rebuttal to Puckett's claims. If they do not step down, an election would be held within 35 days.

The recall attempt comes at a time of increased friction on the council. Council members have at times been short with one another, and Cole had to admonish the seven members to be civil and polite to one another early last month.

"This is a distraction," Cole said. "The city has more important things to work on."

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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