King City Recall too close to call

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(L to R) Mayor Jaimie Fender, Councilor Kate Mohr, Councilor Smart Ocholi, Councilor Laurie Petrie
(L to R) Mayor Jaimie Fender, Councilor Kate Mohr, Councilor Smart Ocholi, Councilor Laurie Petrie
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An election in King City to recall three city councilors and the mayor is a nail-bitter, with the results far from over the morning after the Feb. 13 election. As of 10 p.m. on election day, the results were too close to call.

Councilor Laurie Petrie had 850 votes (50.63 percent) in favor of recall and 829 (49.37 percent) opposed to the recall; Mayor Jaimie Fender had 848 votes (50.27 percent) to be recalled and 839 (49.73 percent) against the recall; Councilor Smart Ocholi had 835 votes (50.03 percent) in favor of recall and 834 (49.97 percent) opposed; and finally, Councilor Kate Mohr had 851 votes (50.93 percent) favoring recall and 820 (49.07 percent) in opposition to the recall.

As of that date and time, 1,712 ballots had been cast out of 3,834 registered voters, although some ballots had not been counted, with the overall turnout at 44.31 percent.

Recall efforts started last fall after the City Council in the summer of 2023 voted to approve the Kingston Terrace Master Plan and King City Transportation System Plan, with Councilor Shawna Thompson casting the only votes in opposition to the plans.

Kingston Terrace, 528 acres of mostly rural properties and farms, is located between the western boundary of the city, the Tualatin River, and Beef Bend and Roy Rogers roads. King City added the area to its urban growth boundary (UGB) in late 2018 after getting approval from the Metro Council.

Since that time, city officials and planning consultants have worked to come up with a plan to deal with the area’s natural topography while planning for transportation routes, a town center, 3,300 to 3,600 housing units of different types, and park and recreation opportunities within about 318 acres.

Many speakers at the public hearings and meetings over the years were primarily opposed to the proposed extension of Fischer Road from where it dead-ends in the Edgewater subdivision because of disruption to existing homes and established neighborhoods plus the potential to cause environmental damage. City officials countered that they collaborated with stakeholders and community members and  followed the recommendations of the “impartial experts” they hired.

Over the last few months, city officials and those working on the recall petition have accused each other of providing misinformation about the issues.

According to Washington County Elections, more results will be released Thursday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. The final, certified results will be released Wednesday, March 6, at 4 p.m.

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