Fort Bragg Mayor Dave Turner target of recall effort
A group of Fort Bragg residents who say they are fed up with the city’s mayor has initiated a recall effort to oust him from the post.
The residents allege Dave Turner does not listen to his constituents, aligns himself with special interest groups and lacks the leadership skills needed to bring new jobs and tourism to Fort Bragg, among other things.
“Council member Dave Turner is not able to represent the best interests of the community,” the group states in a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition, filed by Judith Valadao.
Valadao, who also served Turner with the notice, said she did not wish to elaborate on the recall effort at this time, other than to say its proponents also care about homeless people.
The language of the petition needs to be approved by election officials before it can begin circulating. The petitioners then will need to collect valid signatures from just under 800 registered voters to place the recall on an upcoming ballot.
Turner said the language of the proposed petition contains false accusations and is undemocratic.
“It undermines democracy, in a way. If you threaten a recall over a vote, where does it end?” he asked.
The recall effort is the product of a vocal group of people who have been angry with the council over several issues in the past year, beginning with the resignation of the former police chief — allegedly for being treated disrespectfully — and ending with the council’s recent approval of converting a historic but shuttered downtown hotel into an office that serves homeless and mentally ill people, Turner said.
Despite previous threats of recall during that time, Turner noted he was re-elected to office in November, though narrowly.
In a written response to be included on the recall petition when it is circulated, Turner urged his constituents to shun the recall effort and listed some of the accomplishments he said he has helped the city achieve during his 12 years in office.
These include maintaining a balanced city budget; preventing the CV Starr Center from closing; and making progress toward transforming a former lumber mill site into a scenic tourist attraction.
“To say that I have not worked in the best interest of Fort Bragg is to ignore 12 years of progress in our city,” Turner said.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @MendoReporter.