It's over. Sam Adams will remain Portland's mayor. And anyone who hopes Portland will move forward between now and 2012 should put enmity aside and get behind Mr. Mayor.
Last year, The Skanner supported the recall effort. If the recall succeeded, either Adams would have a clear mandate or he would have to stand down. Issue resolved. But we also said that if the recall effort failed to gather the signatures needed, we would consider the citizens to have spoken.
The recall was launched after Adams revealed he had lied to voters during his election campaign. An opponent, developer Robert Ball, had accused Adams of a sexual involvement with a teen intern. Adams denied the allegation, suggesting Ball was simply using homophobic smear tactics, and countering that he had been acting as a mentor to a gay youth. Later, after he had been elected mayor, Adams admitted to a brief relationship with the teen after he turned 18. The first recall effort fizzled out, but anger at the mayor persisted prompting a second attempt.
Despite support from former state Sen. Avel Gordly and Columbia Sportswear's CEO Tim Boyle the recall simply didn't gather enough signatures. This week advocates for the recall said they had gathered just 20,000 signatures – less than two-thirds of the number required. One recall advocate was quoted saying the campaign would now focus on the next election, two years out.
People with sense and vision, however, will not spend the next two years campaigning against our current mayor. Portland must get to grips with the full slate of issues that need immediate action. The police contract, the Columbia Crossing Bridge, the economy, the business environment, relationships with foreign investors: all are pressing issues that require leadership backed by strong citizen participation.
So if you care about Portland and its people, then put your grievances aside – at least until 2012. And support the City's efforts for citizens. Mayor Adams must be allowed to do his job – lead this city into the future. What Do You Think?