Critics of Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay today launched a recall campaign against Holladay, who is in his second term leading the second-largest city in Clackamas County behind Lake Oswego.
As WW reported earlier this month, Holladay's social media musings on both the COVID-19 pandemic—he opposed Gov. Kate Brown's stay-home order—and the protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd had already led to calls for his resignation.
Today, citizens announced the formation of a formal recall committee and included in that announcement a scathing letter from two of Holladay's predecessors as Oregon City mayor, Alice Norris (2003-2010) and Doug Neeley (2011-2014). In their letter, the two, who said they previously supported the mayor, called Holladay's behavior "disturbing."
"Both of us supported our current mayor for a very short time in the past—because we wanted to believe he had changed for the better. We were wrong. He has not changed—at least for the better," they wrote.
Recalls generally don't work in Oregon: Two targeting Gov. Kate Brown failed last year, and more recent recall efforts, against state Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell (D-Astoria) and state Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), also failed.
The group seeking to recall Holladay has 90 days to gather 2,400 signatures. About 18,000 Oregon City residents voted in the 2018 election in which Holladay won his second term. "This is truly a bipartisan effort," says Chanda Hall, a spokesperson for the recall. "Many disparate groups are uniting on this one."
The two former mayors say it's worth a try to get rid of Holladay.
"When the mayor is out of step with the community, demonstrates rude, degrading and possibly illegal behavior, it is indeed troubling. Dan Holladay's use of social media to inflame members of the public runs contrary to the expectations of a mayor," the former mayors added.
"His attempt to seek support from other city mayors and regional leaders to unilaterally discontinue the state-mandated lockdowns for the COVID-19 pandemic was not only illegal but done without the approval of the City Commission, of which he is only one vote."
Holladay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.