Elk River Mayor Dave Brown survived a recall election Tuesday, with 67 percent of voters supporting his continued leadership.

With 65 total ballots cast, 44 voters turned down the recall, while 21 said yes to the measure. There are 81 registered voters in the town, so Tuesday’s recall saw an 80.2 percent voter turnout. Brown needed at least 32 votes to remain in office — one more than he received when he was first elected in November 2017.

Brown, 65, could not be reached for comment following the election Tuesday night.

According to the recall petition filed by Jon Miller of Elk River, Brown was accused of public drunkenness, loaning out city equipment without proper permission, failing to follow through on public safety matters and discouraging law enforcement presence in the town.

In an earlier interview, Brown called most of the accusations “ridiculous” and said they stem mainly from a few residents’ objections to the popular all-terrain vehicle fun runs the town sponsors twice a year.

“It really comes down to … a few people that really would like some things different,” Brown said. “They wanted to do away with the fun runs and the promotions that we put on and tamp down our holidays. For a small town like us, recreation is our industry, and these events are very successful, very fun for the town.”

Brown said there have been a few instances of participants in the events driving recklessly through town and being disruptive, but the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office has been notified and has done a good job of keeping the horseplay to a minimum. He said for the most part, the events have run smoothly.

Brown said the Fourth of July and Elk River Days celebrations “are huge, and the sheriff has deputies up here to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. But it’s really good for the community and business. And, being a small town mayor, I’m really pro-business. But I don’t want (visitors) disrespecting the citizens.”

Brown added that he has responded to the complaints about city infrastructure problems and, when necessary, those matters were resolved.

“I have suggested to the few people that are against (the town celebrations) to lock up and leave town for the day,” Brown said. “It doesn’t happen that often, and they need to work with us.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.

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