H-MORRO BAY

Sep 30, 2013 7:42 PM by KSBY News

Morro Bay mayor responds to recall petition

Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons responded Monday to a recall petition against him.

Last week, former city council member Bill Peirce presented a recall notice to the current city council. The notice has several complaints against Irons, including lack of transparency and trying to fire two high level city employees. Organizers need 25% of the city's registered voters to sign the petition to force a public vote.

In a statement Irons said, "I can only assume that this recall is a politically-motivated action that might require Morro Bay residents go to the polls three times in 2014. It does not make sense, especially given how vague the grounds are and that it was initiated with few facts and much emotion."

The recall effort comes amid controversy over a closed-door meeting called by the mayor regarding employment contracts of City Manager Andrea Leuker and City Attorney Rob Schultz. City officials have not disclosed why the meeting was called, citing employee confidentiality.

Irons said he filed a response to the petition with the Morro Bay City Clerk. Text of the document is pasted below:

Answer of Jamie Irons to notice of intention to circulate recall petition

In June 2012 the community voted for a new direction and elected me Mayor. Since then I've worked tirelessly on behalf of our community's and I remain committed to the city's future.

1. My stance on the wastewater treatment plant remains consistent. The Coastal Commission would not permit the project at the current site. Community input is now guiding development of a new project, site, technology, and cost. There is no factual basis for statements about $40 million in extra cost.

2. To date, no dismissals have occurred. Should that occur, all necessary steps to ensure continuity and minimize disruption will be taken.

3. I improved transparency by allowing public comment on every agenda item and addressing waterfront leases in open session. No action, including calling special closed session meetings can occur without the majority of council consent.

4. Staff reports are relied upon by Council members and our community to make informed decisions. I have questioned the accuracy and content of staff reports, but I have not edited them.

5. No building fees have been raised, nor new taxes levied. Citizens requested and Council unanimously supported, exploration of a sales tax initiative to fund street paving.

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