The effort to recall a controversial Yamhill County commissioner got a boost from one of the county's political organizations.
The Yamhill County Democrats have endorsed the effort to recall Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer begun by Save Yamhill County, which characterizes itself as a nonpartisan collection of county residents.
"Following the announcement of the recall in early August, the Yamhill County Democrats executive committee called a special meeting… to consider the question," the organization said in a release. "Representatives from Save Yamhill County … made a presentation to the assembled precinct committeepersons, after which the vote was unanimous."
Berschauer declined to comment on the development: "Respectfully, I'm not answering questions about the recall."
Democratic party officials said they will support the recall by, among other things, allowing volunteers to collect petition signatures, advocating for the recall on social media and activating volunteer programs "to make this recall a reality."
In the release, various precinct committeepersons spoke on the need to oust Berschauer, who has drawn the ire of some constituents for her sometimes abrasive style, her opposition to the Yamhelas Westsider Trail and her support of requiring the city of Newberg to seek voter approval for its urban renewal area plan, a stipulation the Board of Commissioners does not have the legal authority to require. The city at first capitulated to the commission's demands, but then reversed its decision a few months ago.
"We have already had several people drop into the office asking if we have petitions to sign," Sue Delventhal, outreach committee chairwoman for the Yamhill County Democrats, said. "I recommended that YCD endorse the recall so that we can take advantage of the infrastructure we have built over the past year to support this effort."
The Democratic group insists its move was not precipitated by politics, but rather Berschauer's unsuitability to hold office.
"This isn't partisan, Yamhill County has had a conservative majority on the Board of Commissioners for decades," said Megan Corvus, a precinct committee person. "Lindsay Berschauer is the first person to hold the seat who has inspired so many people to call for a recall and I voted to support the recall because she's unethical and bad for our county, not because she's a Republican."
Recall effort going forward
The effort to recall Berschauer gained approval in early August from the county clerk's office after she refused calls for her to resign.
Save Yamhill County filed the requisite forms to begin circulating a petition to place recall of Berschauer on a November election ballot. The forms were accepted and deemed sufficient by County Clerk Brian Van Bergen the following day.
Petitioners will have until Nov. 1 to submit the signatures of 6,783 voters, roughly 15% of the votes cast in the county the last election for governor. The clerk's office has 10 days to verify the signatures and deem there are enough to warrant a recall election, if Berschauer chooses not to resign within five days.
Berschauer responded to the recall effort with a lengthy statement on her Facebook page. She questioned Save Yamhill County's claim to be a nonpartisan organization and said their efforts were actually designed to squelch hers and her supporters' conservative values.
"It's not really about me, it's about our values," she wrote. "When I decided to run I did so with a promise to speak about my principles in ways that were simple, clear and transparent. Throughout my career in Oregon, I have always been drawn to plain-speaking, no BS, non-establishment candidates who step forward because they've reached the point where government is harming their livelihood."