The recall election will be held on April 12 for two members of the Banks Fire District Board of Directors

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On Tuesday, April 12, a recall election will be held asking voters in the district whether Banks Fire District Board Members Mark Schmidlin and Ed Ewing should be removed from office, the division said. Washington County elections.

Banks Fire District 13. Photo: Brenda Schaffer

Voters in Banks Fire District 13 will soon receive a ballot asking whether Banks Fire District Board Members Mark Schmidlin and Ed Ewing should be removed from office, the division said. Washington County elections.

On Tuesday, April 12, a recall election will be held to determine whether Board Chairman Mark Schmidlin and Ewing will retain their seats following allegations that Banks Fire Chief Rodney Linz sexually harassed a minor, among a number of other allegations against the chef.

The news was first reported by the Washington County News-Times, which reported that Chief Petitioner and Banks resident Jacoba Kemper said Schmidlin and Ewing failed to follow the policies of the House of Commons commission. fires by refusing to investigate harassment complaints in a timely manner.

The Banks Post has requested additional documents related to Washington County’s recall election, but has not received them as of this writing.

In a special statement authorized by the board and dated March 16, the board described an investigation, which included an outside investigator and a workplace investigator hired by the district, among others, conducted into the allegations.

“After considering the reports, information learned during the investigation and all other necessary factors, the Board is satisfied that the reports and concerns have been appropriately addressed,” the statement said.

The finer details of the investigation have not been released by the district.

The full statement can be read online here.

“The Banks Fire District takes all allegations and complaints of harassment seriously and creating and ensuring a safe and respectful workplace for our employees and volunteers remains a priority for the department,” began a previous statement released by the council in December.

The council said at the time that an independent investigation, still ongoing, had been launched to respond to new allegations of racist and sexist remarks by Chief Rodney Linz at a November 10 meeting by current and former volunteers from the Banks Fire District.

In a phone call with the Banks Post, Washington County Elections Supervisor Lisa Power said the signatures were submitted on March 8 and that the requirement of 449 signatures for each of the two council members making currently under recall had been met with 513 confirmed signatures for the Ewing recall. , and 536 signatures for Schmidlin.

The Banks Fire District covers the town of Banks and the unincorporated communities of Buxton, Timber and Manning.

For the election, the ballot drop-off site at the Banks Public Library will be open, and voters can also visit county offices to drop off a ballot at a drop box and inside the office. , or send a ballot through Oregon’s ballot by mail system. . A new Oregon law that took effect Jan. 1 allows absentee ballots to be counted on Election Day as long as they are in the mail and postmarked by 8 p.m.

House Bill 3291 amended Oregon’s mail-in ballot laws, which the legislature has debated since the state became the first to allow mail-in ballots for all voters there. is over 20 years old, to allow ballots to become official simply by being postmarked by 8:00 a.m. on election day.

As long as the postmarked ballot is received by the county clerk no later than seven days after the date of the election, it will be counted.

The new law also allows county clerks to start counting absentee ballots as soon as they are received rather than requiring them to wait to start counting until a week before the election.

Ballots will soon be mailed out by the county, Power said, with a target date of March 23 to mail ballots to potential registered voters.

The December Banks Fire District statement passed with two council members, Rae Weaver and Ed Ewing, voting to approve it, one council member, John Wren, opposing allowing the statement and one abstention from Board Member Kevin Henning. Board Chairman Mark Schmidlin also did not vote.

Read past stories on this topic here.

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