Recall mounted against Councilman Gorek

New England City Councilman Tom Gorek is facing a recall effort.
In a statement release to The Herald, the committee formed to mount the recall said, “the committee believes this is their only option and the best process.”
In the recall petition, the committee cites the reason for the recall is Gorek’s behavior concerning recent ordinances. Gorek wrote for the city, but not the ordinances themselves. Some of the ordinances were centered on animal regulations and were eventually adopted by the New England City Council in September following a public process.
Gorek said the recall is very frivolous.
“I was just the one who wrote them,” he said “It was a group that voted for them.”
Gorek said the ordinances were based on the North Dakota League of Cities municipal code, information from a service called “municode” and he made a few changes, based on the situation in New England.
In between the first and second reading, the council held a public hearing after placing a notice in The Herald twice prior to the hearing. The ordinances were then passed on Sept. 5 after the second reading, Gorek said.
“On this night (Sept. 5), a member of the community presented a list of at least 25 changes that she wanted to amend or change in the ordinance package. A council member would have had to present these and the council would have had to vote for a change before the second reading. The member of the community did not follow established procedure and state laws,” Gorek said.
New England Mayor Marty Opdahl called the recall a very misguided effort due to the lack of knowledge.
“And there’s been a lot of rumors and misinformation,” Opdahl said. “We had some issues with feral cats and wild animals. The ordinances were very accurate and in tune, nothing out of line.”
Opdahl said that rumors spread inaccurate information.
“It’s also an effort going against someone who has done nothing but been the best councilman,” Opdahl said. “He (Gorek) did a great job.”
The recall committee has received the approved from the North Dakota Secretary of State to move ahead with the effort and is now the process of gathering the needed signatures.
According to state law regarding recalls of elected officials, the recall committee has 90 days to gather the valid names of 25 percent of those residents who voted in the most recent election. In this case, the last election was in June 2016 and 119 people voted.
Once the signatures are gathered, the committee must submit them to City Auditor Jason Jung who would have 30 days to validate the recall petition and set an election for the recall.

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