OREGON CITY, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Oregon City commissioners have scheduled a special meeting Dec. 8 to address Dan Holladay’s attempt to appoint eight people to city advisory boards on Nov. 30, the same day his mayoral recall election results were certified and he was officially removed from office.
Holladay submitted his list of names to the city recorder with no explanation other than, “Here are my appointments,” and ending the email with the words “Mayor Dan Holladay.”
Among the eight individuals, Holladay had tried to appoint his girlfriend, along with a failed City Commission candidate in the Nov. 3 election, even though neither of these people had submitted applications to be on the city advisory boards. Many of Holladay’s proposed appointments sought to fill seats on various boards and commissions that were not vacant and whose terms do not end until more than a month after the mayor’s recall took effect, according to City Manager Tony Konkol.
“The City Commission interprets the provision regarding mayoral appointment power to be exercisable only to fill existing vacancies or positions that become open during the term of the Mayor,” Konkol wrote. “A Mayor cannot reach into the future and appoint persons to fulfill offices that do not become vacant when the Mayor would no longer have the power to fill the position.”
For the vacant advisory board positions, Oregon City’s attorney has weighed in that Holladay’s attempted appointments can’t take effect on the day he is officially removed from office.
In allowing for mayoral appointments, Oregon City has long followed the common-law principle of “indivisible day” in which each day is treated as an indivisible unit and fractions or portions of each day are not recognized. This rule has been used in criminal cases to determine that defendants who commit crimes on their 16th birthday, but prior to the time of birth, are subject to prosecution as adults.
Holladay proposed his girlfriend, Betty Mumm, as a planning commissioner along with another former city commissioner, Daphne Wuest.
Jeff Akin, who lost the Nov. 3 election to Commissioner Frank O’Donnell, was nominated to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee along with Karin Morey, Troy Bolinger and Kylie Edwards. After submitting his initial appointment requests, Holladay heard that Daphne Wuest’s husband, Tim Wuest, had submitted an application on the afternoon of Nov. 30 and requested Tim Wuest be appointed instead of Bolinger.
Holladay additionally attempted to appoint Ray Stobie and Gordon Lawrence to the Historic Review Board.
Recall campaign spokesperson Chanda Hall said Holladay’s “latest antics” only confirm what petitioners knew when that started the campaign that eventually drew support from 68% of voters in the special election.
“He is not fit to lead, he will not listen to constituents, and he continues to put his own interests above the interests of Oregon City and its citizens,” Hall said. “We ask our fellow Oregon City residents to continue to pay attention to local level politics, and please continue to insist on ethical behavior from our elected officials.”
On Nov. 22, Holladay requested that city staff send him the applications received for these three advisory boards. He received the applications on Nov. 24-25 with some redactions of personal information and he was advised that the application deadlines had been extended, so more applications were coming in.
The advisory boards in December are scheduled to interview applicants and make recommendations for appointments to Commission President Rachel Lyles Smith, who will have mayoral powers until commissioners choose a new president or until the special mayoral replacement election in March.
Oregon City’s response to Holladay’s attempted appointments would not have been necessary had the Clackamas County Elections Office certified the recall results when expected. Former Elections Manager Andrew Jones had told recall petitioners that the results would be certified Nov. 25, but then he resigned on Nov. 16, and County Clerk Sherry Hall waited until the last legal day for certification of the election.
“We wait until the timeline for voters to resolve any issues has passed before we certify any results,” Jones wrote to recall petitioners on Nov. 12. “Their deadline is November 24th, so I anticipate that I’ll have the abstracts certified to the City the next day, Wednesday, November 25th.”
City commissioners on Dec. 8 are expected to affirm a resolution declaring that Holladay had no authority to take any official actions on the day that the recall election results were certified.
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