What Our Readers Think About the Claire Syrett Recall

Most people who wrote to EW are strongly opposed to the recall

Editor’s note: We received so many letters about the proposed recall of Ward 7 City Councilor Clair Syrett — most strongly opposed to removing the councilor from office — that we don’t have space for them in the print edition. So we’re publishing them together here online.


I just sent a donation to help Claire Syrett beat the ridiculous recall election that appears to be just about her vote to proceed with the Moving Ahead EmX project on River Road. I expect these to be the same people who spent a load of money to defeat the EmX on 6th and 7th Aves a few years ago. Thank goodness they didn’t prevail. Traffic has multiplied in that area and is being handled well by what we got.

Syrett is a smart and thoughtful city councilor who has taken the lead on some very contentious issues in the last few years. I think we in Ward 7 want to retain her on the council as long as possible. Please vote NO in this special election on Sept. 6 to retain Syrett. Ballots are going out in a few days.

More info at ClaireSyrett.org She can use help with mailings, etc., too.

Robin Bloomgarden



Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett has diligently served the residents of Eugene for 10 years and has kept her promise to advocate for strong progressive values. A small group of people who disagree with how Councilor Syrett has voted launched a recall drive to oust her.

It’s OK to disagree on important issues — that’s what our democracy is all about. But it’s not all right to waste taxpayer time and money with an unnecessary recall, just because you disagree with the outcome of a vote.

Stop the extremist recall and send a strong message that enough is enough! Vote “no” on the partisan extremist recall against Claire Syrett.

Peter Eberhardt



Claire Syrett , Eugene city councilor Ward 7, works for us. We are so lucky that she is representing Ward 7 and our neighbors who live and work here.

Just a quick review of her 10 years of service documents her ability and her commitment to keep the faith with not only those who elected her, but all of us whom she serves. The silly and expensive recall is not about this good, hardworking woman who is clearly doing her job and doing it well.  The recall is the brainchild of folks who do not believe in planning — they even say that on their websites “dedicated to the sunset of government planning.”

They do not believe that we need to work together to deal with the problems of our times. They choose to attack her because they do not want to look at the critical problems we face. Keep Syrett working for us.  No recall needed here — this is a lady who is a helper and a solid friend of Eugene.   

Kathleen Fitzgerald



My personal experience with City Councilor Claire Syrett is that she is an effective, honest and diligent representative for Eugene’s Ward 7 diverse community.

There are many critical issues she has championed, including combating climate change, increasing housing and shelter options, supporting community safety initiatives and protecting working families with renter protection among other issues.

A special recall vote should be used when an elected official has committed a crime or major ethical abuse, not when someone disagrees with the representative’s votes. In my opinion, this current recall effort is a misuse of taxpayer dollars and city resources.

I encourage all Ward 7 constituents to vote “no” on the recall of Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett.

Cary D. Thompson



In my opinion, Eugene’s diverse Ward 7 community is well served by Claire Syrett, a diligent, honest and hard working City Council representative.

A special recall vote should be used when an elected official has committed a crime or major ethical abuse, not when someone disagrees with the representative’s votes. It’s okay to disagree on important issues; that’s what our democracy is all about. In my opinion, this current recall effort is a misuse of taxpayer dollars and city resources.

I encourage all registered voters in Ward 7 to fill in your mail in ballot for the special September election. Vote “no” to the recall.

Joan Kleban



There are valid reasons why Ward 7 residents are being asked to recall their City Councilor, Claire Syrett. I’m a local mediator and communication consultant, and it doesn’t look to me like Councilor Syrett has been listening to constituents and other active citizens. I’m concerned about her seeming lack of regard for people whose opinions differ from hers, especially the overwhelming opposition to expanding the EmX bus service on River Road and the equally large opposition to City staff’s HB 2001 rezoning code amendments, where she appears unresponsive to the voice of the people. 

I feel troubled by Syrett’s defensive, dismissive attitude about the recall effort, characterizing it on her website as a “reckless recall” and “misuse of the recall process.” It worries me that she described the organizers as “extremist forces” — which I perceive as offensive and harmfully inflammatory. Recalls are a way to remove elected officials who have broken the law or violated public trust. The latter is exactly what the 2,000-plus Ward 7 voters who signed the recall petition are saying.

I see the wisdom in recalling Claire Syrett. Ward 7 deserves a much more respectful, inclusive and skillful councilor to represent their needs. 

Lisa-Marie DiVincent



As a voter in Ward 7 who doesn’t always agree with the votes of my city councilor, I am appalled at the current effort to recall her. Recall, by its nature, is a disruptive action. It is costly and contributes to instability in governance.  It should be reserved for dereliction of duty or other egregious behavior — not disagreement with certain votes. 

In this case, Councilor Claire Syrett has been a hard working, responsive elected official who in no way deserves to be recalled. I encourage Ward 7 voters to reject this blatant attempt to destabilize our city government.

Hillary Kittleson



Those behind the recall attempt of Claire Syrett use the scorched earth and disinformation tactics of the radical right. They abuse and erode our democratic institutions, as a recall petition should be used only to stop criminal behavior such as corruption, fraud and malfeasance. This is plainly not the case.

Opponents of Councilor Syrett have made it clear that they don’t like the way she has voted on issues, but because they are abusing the recall process they must imply that Syrett is corrupt. Bob Springenberg does just that in his recent letter without presenting a shred of evidence. This is known as the big lie. Moreover, Springenberg calls anyone who may disagree with him on the Moving Ahead project “a moron.”

Syrett was reelected in a landslide in 2020, and the recall effort would nullify this. These anti-democratic, deceitful and insulting tactics have no place in Eugene. Vote no on the recall.

Chuck Areford 



Vote no on the recall of Claire Syrett Sept. 6.

Syrett has represented you diligently. She has been your representative in city government for 10 years. Syrett has advocated for your progressive values. There is a small group of partisan players trying to nullify your vote. This power grab is denying our active-duty military members the right to have a say in this election.

This is an abuse of our recall system. Recall procedures are in place when an elected official breaks the law or performs major ethical abuses.  Syrett was one of the unanimous votes for the new housing codes required by the state of Oregon. This vote was in compliance with State regulations. Without the vote of the City Council, the regulations set forth by the state would have been enforced whether they fit our community or not.

If this recall succeeds all other councilors will possibly face the expense of a recall. This tactic is costing us, the taxpayers, more money. Elections cost thousands of dollars. Protect your pocket book and your vote by voting “no” on the Syrett recall.

Katrina Bowser



I am dismayed at the recall election against Councilor Claire Syrett. It is ill-conceived and destructive. I urge voters to vote “no” on this inappropriate, extremist recall.

Councilor Syrett is an effective and constructive representative who offers an important voice on the Eugene City Council. Recalling her is unacceptable. Simply disagreeing over one policy matter is not an appropriate use of the recall process, which should only be resorted to when an elected official has committed a crime or a major ethical abuse.

The main petitioners are wasting our resources and damaging our democracy over a frivolous recall. Furthermore, the main petitioners do not even live in the affected River Road area. That’s very suspect. What is their true agenda?

Allegedly, the petitioners object to Syrett’s approval that the MovingAhead plan proceed to be developed. Given that the plan is still being discussed and designed with community input, none of us knows yet what the final proposal will be. Many of us have concerns about some elements of the current River Road EmX proposal. We need to step-up, get involved and help make the EmX proposal the best it can be to help improve transportation and livability in River Road and not allow this cynical, politically motivated recall undermine our democratic process.

Again, please vote “no” on the recall.

Charlsey Cartwright



With lots of sugar from City Councilor Claire Syrett, Lane Transit District is getting too big for its britches. River Road already has LTD bus service so EmX is redundant, just like it is on West 11th.  This is what happens when unelected bureaucracies aren’t accountable to taxpayers, and autonomous politicians won’t bend their ear to voters.

Furthermore, I for one am damn sick and tired of watching behemoth LTD buses lumber around town with one passenger, destroying our city streets (check out Amazon Parkway). They carry more weight per tire than a 40-ton 18-wheeler and pay nothing for the street damage they cause, not even fuel tax.

But wait, there’s more.  For every dollar paid by LTD riders, taxpayers must throw down another $5 just to cover the cost of the ride. That ain’t right folks. With Bidenflation at full throttle, we simply cannot afford to waste cubic taxpayer dollars on an obese, unelected bureaucracy like LTD.

Now is the time to send a stern message to Big Bus, Eugene Planning Department and City Council. Recall Claire Syrett (throw her under the bus? LOL) and then let’s make the LTD board an elected position instead of being appointed by a bottom ranked, agenda driven governor. Then we can recall them too.  #RESIST-LTD

Don Richey



I have recently learned of a recall campaign begun against Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett, led by people (who mainly live outside her ward) who disagree with positions she has taken while on the council.  This is an abuse of the recall process and an abusive waste of taxpayer money. Those who disagree with an elected official’s votes should campaign to remove them at the next election — that is the democratic way.

Frances Spector



Claire Syrett is an effective and caring city councilor who has angered people largely outside her ward. This is especially true for the groups funding the current recall push. Syrett has served the people of Eugene for 10 years and deserves to continue in her position. 

The recall centers primarily around EmX, and Syrett has simply voted to study the possibility of extending this service along River Road. Her opponents have used extreme language to try and scare people. Such tactics work against both our democratic ways and effective government. Because of this, I encourage people to vote “no” in the upcoming recall election and retain Syrett.

Thomas Dodd



As a 44-year resident of River Road and long-time leader in the River Road Community Organization, I have participated with neighbors in advocating for EmX since 2009. On behalf of the neighborhood, I met with City Councilor Andrea Ortiz, asking for EmX along River Road, before Councilor Claire Syrett was elected.

I can’t believe people haven’t heard of MovingAhead/EmX until a few months ago. I have written 380 weekly messages to hundreds of neighbors about our River Road/Santa Clara Neighborhood Planning process, including how to provide input on MovingAhead starting in 2015.

River Road and Santa Clara have worked for a decade to gain support of the Eugene city councilors, Eugene Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners in our planning process. Syrett has closely followed our work and the large neighborhood meetings with hundreds of neighbors providing ideas about how to manage traffic congestion, traffic safety, housing, parks/open spaces, economic development and community topics.

We are stunned that people outside of our neighborhoods are intervening in our neighborhood planning, disseminating false information to neighbors and maligning our councilor’s efforts to support our community work.

I urge a “no” vote in this nuisance recall of Councilor Syrett. She voted for the public transit alternative that neighbors requested when we took surveys, attended workshops, and participated in neighborhood meetings.

Carleen Reilly



The recall effort that has targeted Councilor Claire Syrett was launched by two individuals who do not even reside in her district. This is a waste of taxpayer money and an abuse of the recall system. Councilor Syrett continues to fulfill her campaign promises and is devoted to the many responsibilities of a city councilor. Over the past 10 years she has met with constituents on issues of local importance and represented the interests of her ward with fairness and a commitment to equity.

As a labor representative she has supported local nursing staff as well as the safety of our entire community during the pandemic. She remains engaged at all levels, and adds a progressive perspective at City Council meetings on issues such as police reform, advocacy for the unhoused, reproductive rights and in the details of transportation planning. 

This recall effort is an abuse of our democratic system. Recalls should be used when an elected official has committed a crime or a major ethical abuse, not when someone disagrees with a councilor’s votes. We can’t let a small group of people take over our democratic process.

Vote on September 6 to support Councilor Syrett.

Jolene Siemsen



Councilor Claire Syrett has been a hard-working, smart and dedicated progressive on the Eugene City Councilor for 10 years. I am a careful watcher of local politics, and it’s clear she really cares about the city, and especially about the residents in her ward and north Eugene. You can meet her at community and neighborhood events, where she is sincerely listening to understand. Not everyone will always agree with her, of course — that would be impossible. But she is an ethical, dedicated councilor, who alway listens and is always true to her values.

It is simply wrong that a small handful of partisan extremists who disagree with her on mass transit forced a recall election. This is an abuse of the recall system. Recalls should only be used when an elected official has committed a crime or a major ethical abuse, not when someone disagrees with them. This recall attempt is completely unnecessary, and makes it that much harder for people to work together and find solutions. Vote “no” on the recall.

Joy Marshall 



The effort to recall Eugene City Councilor Syrett is an abuse of the recall system that is needlessly costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. Recalls should be used when an elected official has committed a crime or a major ethical abuse, not because community members disagree with a councilor’s votes. 

There is no way that an elected official will satisfy all of their constituents all of the time and the allegations regarding Councilor Syrett and MovingAhead are frankly ridiculous. There was a massive public process for both MovingAhead and the River Road/Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan with overwhelming support for a multimodal corridor that will support all of our neighborhood’s residents in getting where they need to go. Many people are too old or young to drive, can’t afford it, or are unable for other reasons. It is affront that people who don’t even live in Councilor Syrett’s ward are organizing a recall that so blatantly ignores the will of her own ward and that disregards those who are not able to drive themselves everywhere. 

I urge residents of Ward 7 to vote no on the recall.

Sarah Mazze 



As a Whiteaker neighborhood resident and former Eugene city councilor (1993-1996), I encourage Ward 7 voters to become informed about the upcoming vote on recalling Claire Syrett. I hope my neighbors who are registered will cast their ballots, so the outcome reflects robust participation by Whiteaker voters.

As a former city councilor, I aimed to follow my best judgment in making decisions, but that my decisions had to be based on fully engaging voters in a respectful way — even those I disagreed with.

I believe Syrett has failed to live up to these principles, and it seems her political ambitions are increasingly in concert with anointed special interests. There clearly is a reason she was appointed to the council in the first place. She rarely listens to voters who disagree with her; and I’ve watched Syrett speak contemptuously to constituents who express opposing views.

Councilor Syrett’s voting record demonstrates her disregard for the public interest: large subsidies to developers, anti-police rhetoric, and using progressive jargon and fake public engagement processes to ensure that her own allies determine the ultimate outcomes.

Syrett is a team player, to be sure, but is on the wrong team.

We must show elected officials that voters cannot be taken for granted, ignored and manipulated with impunity. Recalling Syrett from office now would be a wakeup call. We need a responsive Ward 7 councilor for the next two years, and need to shift the balance on the City Council to a majority that respects transparent and democratic public process.

Kevin Hornbuckle