Recall in Cornelius

Opponents of 'Team 3' seek to oust two city councilors, mayor

While the Cornelius City Council averted one disaster Monday night by adopting a budget for the coming year, more turmoil is ahead for the small city.

A group of citizens, led by former city councilor Brad Coffey, is organizing an effort to recall the city's mayor, Neal Knight, and two city councilors, Mari Gottwald and Jamie Minshall.

Minshall and Gottwald beat Coffey and former city councilor Bob Ferrie, Jr. in a four-way race in November.

Coffey set up a web site,, and citizens expect to begin circulating petitions after July 4, the day when Knight, Gottwald and Minshall will have been in office for 6 months.

Oregon law precludes a recall effort from beginning before that time.

In order to trigger a recall, organizers will need to gather 386 signatures, according to Washington County Elections. They'll have 90 days from the time of their filing with the county to do so.

Knight and his allies dubbed themselves 'Team 3' during the election, running on a platform of eliminating the city's general services fee.

Last week, the three voted to fire the city's popular city manager Dave Waffle.

On Monday, Knight indicated he wouldn't move to cut the fee this fall if it meant firing police or fire personnel, though city council president Jef Dalin said in a private conversation Knight indicated that was still his intention.

When asked if the fee was next on the docket, Minshall said, 'I guess.' When asked again he said, 'it doesn't matter what I say, you'll write whatever you want.'