Elliot Wins Recall Election, Remains Mayor Of Arnegard
March 20, 2019 | View PDF
Virginia Elliot will remain in her seat as mayor of Arnegard after a recall election. The efforts to remove the mayor failed by a 63-47 vote margin on Monday, March 11.
Running against Elliot in the recall election was Arnegard’s previous mayor, Jeff Kindle. A petition was circulated last November to recall Elliot due to claims of nepotism centering on the hiring of her son’s construction company to do work for the city. Also cited in the recall petition was Elliot’s allegedly failing health and memory, and misunderstanding of city laws and ordinances. The majority of Arnegard residents ultimately rejected those allegations, or at least voted in spite of them, to retain Elliot as mayor.
Elliot said, “I think we just need to start working together, make it the community that it was a few years ago.”
One point of contention within Arnegard in the past week has been the firing of the city’s only two police officers. Elliot cast the deciding vote to make that decision, and rumors have since circulated that there will be no police department. Elliot rebuffed the claim.
“We are going to hire different deputies,” Elliot explained. “We’re not getting rid of the police department. We’re hiring deputies who will work with the community. Hopefully we can just heal and move forward.”
When asked about the situation that caused such animosity that led to the recall petition, which was signed by 18 people, Elliot gave her perspective.
Elliot said of the recall effort, “I don’t appreciate the comments they made about me being senile and not knowing how to run a town because I’ve been on that city council for 20 years and have been mayor for four. The way I understand it, that [nepotism] that they accuse me of, there is no [nepotism] because in a town this size, everybody is related. I was not the one who chose my son to do the work, it was a council member and the park maintenance man.”
When asked about her opponent, Jeff Kindle, and how involved he was in the recall effort, Elliot responded, “I just kind of stayed in the background with that, and let them go forward and do whatever they felt they had to do. Jeff was mayor for four years, and I was mayor for four years before that. But, it is what it is.”
Elliot was thankful for her support, stating, “I just want to thank everybody who supported me and I hope I can move forward and do what the people of this town want. We are elected officials and our duty is to do what the people want.”