Friday afternoon, a citizen group, led by Mike Olsen, started the process that could lead to the recall vote of Shelton Mayor Gary Cronce and City Commissioner Kathy McDowell. Olsen delivered statements of charges to the Mason County Auditor’s Office that explain the violations by each City Commissioner they believe warrant a recall. Olsen spoke with reporters prior to submitting the statements, explaining why he feels a recall is necessary after months of public testimony requesting both to resign:
There are three violations in the statement of charges against Mayor Cronce. The first violation is Cronce using a city owned computer to solicit campaign contributions. The second violation is the Mayor reading a prepared statement into the record of a City Commission meeting advising citizens to vote against a proposition to change the form of city government. And the third violation against Cronce is the only violation alleged against McDowell and relates to the two discussing city business using Facebook and email outside of an open public meeting.
These statements of charges are the first step in the recall process.
Mason County Auditor Karen Herr provided MasonWebTV Powered by HCC a more detailed explanation of the process.
If the Court allows for a recall petition, the Auditor’s Office will need to verify that the petition signatures are from registered voters in the City of Shelton before placing on a primary election or general election ballot. But again, a court hearing will have to be held. A specific date for that hearing has not yet been set but needs to be set within a month.
The last recall effort in Mason County was in 2010 against then Port of Shelton Commissioner Jay Hupp which failed in court.