Brookings leaders to fight recall effort

MEDFORD, Ore. – The mayor of Brookings plans to fight to keep his seat, as a recall prepares to go to the ballot in November.

Curry County said last week that a petition gathered enough valid signatures to send the recall to voters.

It is looking to oust mayor Ron Hedenskog, councilor Ed Schreiber and councilor Michelle Morosky.

In January, the council decided to retain Janelle Howard as city manager, after she was charged with a misdemeanor for theft and the DA reduced her charge to a violation after she pleaded ‘no contest’.

Mayor Hedenskog said in a statement to us, quote:

 “In 2005, I was appointed planning commissioner followed by five years as elected councilor. In 2012, I became mayor for five years. I returned in 2018 as councilor, elected again in 2019. In 2021, I took the mayor’s position. Reelected in 2023. That equals seventeen years of volunteer service to Brookings with fifteen years on council. I will retire the longest serving elected official in Brookings’ history with many controversial decisions under my belt. I have voted my conscious after studying both sides of the story. Voters should ask: do they want a mayor who caves to in-civil, disrupting, threatening, bullying tactics used by organized groups that vilify officials? They exaggerate rumors and lie attempting to try an official in the court of public opinion.
Working with the City Manager for 14 years with her spotless employment record was reason to give her a second chance. We removed her from finance directorship, signed a revised contract that favors the city and returned her to work with no raise.
In one year, citizens will have the opportunity to elect two councilors and a mayor. This recall is unnecessary, expensive and if successful would cause chaos to city operations. “

Council president Ed Schreiber also sent us a statement saying in quote:

“The recall petitioners are asking Brookings taxpayers to spend approximately $300,000 (recall election + special election costs plus contract-termination costs) and dismiss our three most experienced elected officials and our successful city manager. All five city council members (including the two not on the upcoming ballot) understand this would cause massive disruption to Brookings city government. Brookings deserves a well-functioning city government. Voting ‘NO’ on the recall retains normalcy and smooth transitions and ensures that Brookings remains the safe, clean city that residents and visitors love and appreciate. “

He also said if the recall is successful, Brookings City Council would have no quorum until another election, which could take months.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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