Valley City mayor survives recall electionValley City voters backed their mayor in a recall election, and his challenger, the city’s former police chief, said it was time for the city to move past the political turmoil of the past several months.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) — Valley City voters backed their mayor in a recall election, and his challenger, the city’s former police chief, said it was time for the city to move past the political turmoil of the past several months.
Mayor Bob Werkhoven received 57 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s recall election, and Dean Ross, the former police chief of the city of 6,600 residents, got 43 percent.
“I guess that’s a pretty good margin,” Werkhoven told WDAY-TV. “If I could win them all that way I’d be happy.”
Werkhoven and City Commissioner Ken Evenson were targeted for recall after Ross was suspended amid allegations he mishandled public money. Ross rejected the allegations, and the city dropped the matter when he stepped down. State investigators later found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Ross said he did not oppose Werkhoven in the recall election to seek revenge but because he wanted to make changes to the city.
“Life moves on, Dean Ross moves on, and hopefully we can put all this behind us and have peace and harmony in Valley City,” he said.
Ross was suspended last Sept. 9 and stepped down later that month, ending a 38-year career with the Police Department, the last 11 years of which he served as chief. Ross had quarreled for months with City Administrator Jon Cameron, who has since resigned to take a city manager job in Oklahoma. Cameron left despite the fact that city residents in a special election last October voted to retain his position.
Evenson lost his commission seat in Tuesday’s election, getting only 48 percent of the vote. Challenger Duane Magnuson got 52 percent.
About one-third of city residents voted. The results will be made official when vote canvassing takes place Monday. If the results do not change, neither losing candidate will be eligible for a recount.