Morro Bay mayor responds to recall petition

In a written response filed with the city clerk, Jamie Irons rebuts opponents’ criticisms

dsneed@thetribunenews.comSeptember 30, 2013 

Jamie Irons

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — The Tribune Buy Photo

Embattled Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons filed a formal response Monday to the recall petition that is being circulated against him.

The response was filed with the city clerk of Morro Bay and contains a point-by-point response to the grounds listed in the recall petition. The petition was filed last week by a group of citizens and Irons had a week to respond.

In his response, Irons defended how he has conducted the city’s business — including his request to hold a closed session meeting to discipline or fire City Manager Andrea Lueker and City Attorney Robert Schultz.

“Everything I have done has been done thoughtfully and with respect for the employees involved and the long-term best interest of the community,” he wrote.

His response contained these five points:

  • He opposed the current wastewater treatment plant project because the state Coastal Commission would not have approved its location near the ocean and denied that the decision could cost the city $40 million extra.
  • To date, no dismissals have occurred and he would take steps to minimize disruption if they do occur.
  • He improved transparency by allowing public comment on every agenda item and dealing with waterfront leases in open session.
  • He has questioned the accuracy and content of some staff reports but has not edited them.
  • No building fees have been raised or new taxes levied, however the council is exploring a sales tax initiative to fund street paving.

Backers of the recall said Irons puts his own agenda and interests ahead of his constituents and has shown a disregard for welfare of Morro Bay. About 1,700 signatures of the city’s registered voters — or 25 percent of the total — would have to be collected to prompt a recall election.

“I can only assume that this recall is a politically motivated action that might require Morro Bay residents to go to the poll three times in 2014,” Irons wrote in his response. “It does not make sense especially given how vague the grounds are and that it was initiated with few facts and much emotion.”

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