The effort to recall City Councilor Claire Syrett is misleading, costly and anti-democratic. I strongly urge you to vote “no.”
Councilor Syrett has served with distinction in her 10 years on the Eugene City Council. I know her as a thoughtful, courageous, honest leader who listens carefully to her constituents, stands up for their concerns, and is candid and forthright in council deliberations.
The proponents of this recall effort have misinformed voters about their grievances — a practice that impacts the integrity of policy discussions. This recall is not about Syrett’s vote on EmX, which aligned with the majority of council and has been inaccurately described in the petition. It is about a minority of voices, unhappy with a council policy, seeking to unseat a councilor as a warning to other elected officials. It is intended to intimidate.
The high cost of this special recall election will come out of the city’s general fund. Concerned about homelessness? Climate? Public safety? Councilor Syrett shares those concerns and is working hard to address them. The cost of this election diverts limited resources to this spurious effort.
This recall is anti-democratic. Syrett is serving in her third term. She was re-elected in a high-turnout presidential election year with 59 percent of the vote. The petitioners on this recall disagreed with a single vote by Syrett, and are using that as an excuse to subvert the election results of 2020 with a recall effort during the quiet days of summer when few voters are expecting an election. If voters don’t turn out and say no to this spurious effort, a small minority could unseat a popular and duly elected city councilor
We face hard decisions as a city and as elected leaders. Members of the City Council understand that not everyone will agree with every vote they take. For those people who are concerned about EmX, no decisions have been made by the City Council except to explore options, so it is a good time to learn more and pay attention to your opportunities to engage in upcoming discussions.
I am proud to serve with Councilor Claire Syrett and proud of our City Council as we address the deep challenges facing our community. We need everyone in Ward 7, and across this community, to engage in thoughtful, respectful discussions of the issues before us. A misleading, wasteful recall is destructive of that important work. If you live in Ward 7, please vote “no” on the recall.
Lucy Vinis has been the mayor of Eugene since January 2017. Please read the letters about the recall election we have posted online at EugeneWeekly.com. The majority of the letters are anti-recall.