GEARHART — Gearhart Mayor Dianne Widdop’s fate will be up to Gearhart voters in a special election as she decided not to resign in light of an effort to recall her from office.
On Wednesday, the Clatsop County Clerk and Elections Department verified 108 petition signatures, more than the 102 required to schedule a recall election. Local resident Harold Gable was the chief petitioner and he submitted 113 total signatures, according to elections technician Sheryl Holcom. The number of signatures was previously reported as 114.
Widdop had five days, or until 5 p.m. today, to submit to the clerk’s office either a letter of resignation or a written statement of no more than 200 words to be printed on the ballot for the election. She submitted the latter on Friday.
The clerk’s office has not released her official statement of justification, but Widdop informally made a statement last week that she was staying in office.
“I have determined that I will not be bullied into resigning,” she said. “The petition signers represent less than 13 percent of Gearhart voters. I believe it is necessary to hold the election and allow all Gearhart voters to have their say on the issue, just as Patricia Roberts did a few years ago, when as a county commissioner, she was in the same situation.”
Some Gearhart residents have started putting up signs in support of Widdop.
The election has been scheduled for March 26. The outcome will be determined by simple majority. Voters will have until 8 p.m. to submit their ballots either through the mail or at one of two drop sites: Gearhart City Hall at 698 Pacific Way in Gearhart or the Clatsop County Elections Office at 820 Exchange St., Suite 220, in Astoria.
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