SHADY COVE — Shady Cove voters will be asked to decide — and pay a few thousand dollars for — a recall election of recently resigned Councilwoman Linda Kristich.
Kristich was the target of a recall by a group of local residents concerned she did not have the city’s best interests at heart.
She then ran for the mayor’s seat but lost Nov. 6 to Councilwoman Lena Richardson, who garnered 60 percent of 1,334 votes cast.
Kristich, who has declined interview requests from the Mail Tribune, tendered her resignation from the City Council the morning after the election.
“The voters have spoken. This letter is to inform you of my resignation from the Shady Cove City Council effective this date,” Kristich wrote to Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker.
Kristich could have resigned after the recall was filed — thus saving the cost of another election — but the deadline passed Oct. 25 and the vote will be held as per Oregon law.
Walker said she could not surmise whether Kristich’s resignation could be rescinded if the recall election is voted down.
Mayor Tom Sanderson said a slew of issues between Kristich and other council members — in addition to negative campaigning by Kristich — led to the recall.
Sanderson said he hoped to see a more positive focus, and added he was disappointed the city would still have to pay for the recall election.
Walker said county officials were responsible only for hosting the election, which could cost Shady Cove thousands for processing and postal expenses, and that city officials and their legal counsel would have to determine whether Kristich’s resignation could be reversed.
“The final outcome will be determined by the city. We are just following the Constitution and conducting the election,” Walker said.
“It’s an unfortunate part of recall. Recalls are so negative in context, but they do serve a purpose. Once a recall is filed and all the deadlines are met, it stays in place.”
Walker said if Kristich had won the mayor’s race, she could have served even if the council recall turned out to be successful.
On her campaign website, Kristich wrote about the recall effort, stating, “Part of the insider election strategy was to campaign against me via a recall petition. A number of you have told me that you signed believing that you were supporting my candidacy. In fact, more than 24 citizens of Shady Cove signed both recently circulated petitions — in other words, more than 24 people signed to show their support for both sides of the same issue. Why?”
Sanderson said the City Council voted last week to accept Kristich’s resignation. The mayor, who will be replaced Jan. 1 by Mayor-elect Lena Richardson said she had hoped the recall election — and related expenses — could have been avoided.
Ballots for the recall election are due by 8 p.m. Nov. 27.
Drop sites include the Medford elections office on West Main Street in Medford or the Eagle Point library. Ballots also can be mailed but must be received by the deadline (postmarks don’t count).
Shady Cove residents who don’t receive a ballot are asked to call the Elections Office at 541-774-6148.
Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at email@example.com.