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Novick on recall plan: 'Start working with us to find solutions'

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - City Commissioner Steve Novick could face a recall because of his stance on the city's street fee. A foe of the fee must get signatures by early October to put the recall on a ballot.City Commissioner Steve Novick says he was warned in a May email that a possible recall effort was in the works.

In a statement released Saturday, Novick says he and Mayor Charlie Hales were "morally obligated" to fix the city's streets with a proposed street fee. After proposing the fee, Novick says he received an email from a constituent saying, "There are ways to get you out faster than 2016."

"But since then that same constituent and I have had a lengthy, cordial conversation about how to address our transportation needs," Novick says. "We will keep on explaining as best we can how dire our transportation maintenance and safety needs are, and as time goes on I think more and more people, even those that are most unhappy, will start working with us to find solutions."

Ray Horton, an opponent of the street fee, filed a petition last week to remove Novick from office. Horton is seeking volunteers to circulate it on a Facebook page — Stop Portland Street Fee — set up to stop the City Council from adopting the fee proposed by Novick and Hales.

"What I need from those of you who really want to do something about these politicians is for you to send me a FB or email message indicating your willingness to actively work on recall efforts, and also what role you are willing to play: committee, signature gathering, fundraising, or what," Horton writes on the Stop Portland Street Fee page.

Novick is in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The stated reason for recalling him on the petition is, "Failure to exercise fiduciary duties of his office, specifically regarding managing of public funds and initiative and application of taxes."

Horton needs to collect 34,921 valid signatures of registered Portland voters by Oct. 9 to force a recall measure onto a ballot.


Here is City Commissioner Steve Novick's statement on the possible recall effort:

When the Mayor and I came into office we inherited a transportation system that has been neglected for years, and we are morally obligated to do something about it. We’ve attended a lot of town halls, and there don’t seem to be many people who want us to cut police, fire and parks to raise money for transportation, so I remain convinced that the only responsible thing we can do is raise more revenue. I understand that some people are unhappy. In late May I received an email from a constituent saying ‘there are ways to get you out faster than 2016.’ But since then that same constituent and I have had a lengthy, cordial conversation about how to address our transportation needs. We will keep on explaining as best we can how dire our transportation maintenance and safety needs are, and as time goes on I think more and more people, even those that are most unhappy, will start working with us to find solutions.