Two mayoral recall elections yielded two different results in north central Idaho Tuesday, with Bovill voters opting for new leadership, while Kooskia voters opposed any changes.
In Bovill, 50 people supported the recall of Mayor Sam Walker, compared to 38 who voted against the move.
According to Idaho law, a recall vote requires a simple majority; in addition, there must be at least as many votes in support of the effort as the official received in the last election. Walker was appointed to the mayor’s role, so the simple majority vote was all that was needed.
Walker could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening. The election results won’t be finalized until next week, when the Latah County commissioners canvass the results.
The recall effort stems from long-simmering disputes among community members. The recall petition alleged that the mayor engaged in “a pattern of unprofessional behavior unbefitting his office. He has allowed personal bias, business relationships and nepotism to control the operation of city government, resulting in discrimination and selective ordinance enforcement.”
Walker denied the allegations, saying he has “done nothing unethical, immoral or illegal.”
“This (recall effort) is a personal vendetta toward me, not my work as mayor,” he said. “I avoid bias with all relationships within the city, but believe everyone should follow the same rules, codes and ordinances.”
In Kooskia, the vote was 121-71 against recalling Mayor Charlotte Schilling.
Schilling has served as mayor of the Idaho County community since 2007, prior to which she served on the city council. She received 23 votes the last time she was elected.
The recall effort stemmed from a dispute involving the Kooskia Ambulance. Opponents said Schilling’s “hostile actions” against the ambulance service endangered the community. She disputed that notion, saying she has always been supportive of the service, and that “the city and surrounding communities were never at risk.”
Idaho County commissioners are scheduled to canvass the election results Tuesday.
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