Glenns Ferry to hold mayoral recall election

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by Justin Corr

NWCN.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 11:02 AM

GLENNS FERRY, Idaho -- The small town of Glenns Ferry will hold a recall election next year for its mayor. Those pushing the recall say they have no confidence in the mayor's ability to lead the city. The mayor says her critics don't have the best interests of the city in mind.

Mayor JoAnn Lanham has been in office for seven years.

She is somewhat emotionally hurt by the effort to recall her, which started about three years ago. Just this month, petitioners gathered enough signatures to put the recall on a ballot in March.

"This is not a vindictive effort towards an individual. It's simply a vote of no confidence," said David Payne, who's leading the recall effort.

Payne and others behind the recall say Lanham, among many things, lacks management and budgeting skills, and is irresponsible with taxpayer money. They also say she won't enforce city ordinances like requiring landowners to fix the sidewalks on their property. While the city council, not the mayor, is the approving body, Payne says Lanham has supported their decisions. "On numerous occasions, she has said, 'I'm the boss.' It has to be laid at her feet."

"There isn't anything on this petition that's malfecious, illegal, immoral, any of that," said Mayor Lanham. "It's all personal opinion."

She says she's worked hard to get the city through tough economic times by cutting the budget, has done nothing illegal or immoral, and won't require people to fix the sidewalks because she doesn't believe they can afford it. "We have lowered, I believe, our budget $100,000 in the last two years. We haven't taken our 3 percent [raise]. We've laid two people off."

By Tuesday, Lanham must either resign or choose to fight the recall.

"I absolutely will not step down," said Lanham. "My term is over next November. I have one more year. I'm going to fill that term unless I'm voted out by the people, which I'm sure I won't be."

"She is out of touch with reality," said Payne. "I am convinced absolutely that she will lose this effort, and not only just lose it, but be defeated soundly in this effort."

Critics also say the town's taxes are way too high, and that water and sewer taxes are expected to spike. Lanham responds that they won't spike but will go up, and only because they've been kept low for so long.

The mayoral recall election will happen in Glenns Ferry on March 12, 2013.

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