Recalled councilwoman certain to win seat back

GOLD HILL — A former mayor won re-election, and a councilwoman who was recalled may soon be back on the job.

Early election returns gave longtime councilman and former mayor Gus Wolf, who ran unopposed, 153 votes, or 83 percent of 184 votes cast for the mayor's post. Wolf has been serving as interim mayor since the former mayor resigned.

Former councilwoman Kathleen Price seemed certain to gain one of the three City Council seats that voters were to fill Tuesday.

Price was the only candidate to file for two council terms that expire at the end of December 2010. She had 101 votes, and all write-ins combined had 136 votes. The two top finishers will win a council seat.

Write-in results could be tallied as soon as Wednesday, but may take more time, said Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.

Wolf, who has served as interim mayor since the resignation of former mayor Dan Morris, said he was honored to be chosen to lead the city through a term that expires at the end of 2008.

"I am humbled by the trust the people of Gold Hill have put in me to help bring about a brighter future for the city," Wolf said.

"I pledge to do my best to bring our citizens together using common sense, compassion and a common vision for a better and better Gold Hill."

Wolf's council seat, which expires in 2010, could be filled by appointment, filled by election in November or left vacant.

Price said she was excited to be offered a chance to return to the council.

A vocal opponent of the council's support for Public Works Director Royal Gasso, Price was recalled by a two-vote margin in May 2007 and lost an attempt to regain her seat when she was defeated by current councilman Mike Ely in November.

In recent months, Price spoke out against Gasso and the council's handling of issues related to the embattled public works chief, who was arrested Friday for possessing methadone and heroin. Price said Gasso's arrest, his second this year, as well as he showing at the polls, proved her ideas had "citizen support."

"I put my whole heart in this position. I am a strong woman and I have proven that with all the opposition I have faced," she said.

"Now that I've been vindicated, I will keep all my promises that I made and I will always do the right thing. I can promise the citizens (of Gold Hill) that I won't let them down."

Although no one formally filed for the two remaining council seats, Donna Silva, a former councilwoman, and Cathy Swick declared their write-in candidacies and posted signs around town.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at

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