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Why a Solvang Recall now?


Op-Ed: By Fred Kovol/ Solvang Resident

A power play is happening in Solvang.  Last week a small group filed papers for the recall of Councilman Chris Djernaes.  It lists unsubstantiated allegations reading more like a tabloid than a legal document.  

What we have is an attempt to unseat a duly elected council member to regain control of the Council majority.   

For the past two years, it is obvious that a few of the old guard did not like the results of the last election in 2018.  That election should have sent a message that the silent majority was not pleased with how the city was run by a powerful few.  With questionable use of city funds and discrepancies, it took new people with fresh eyes to examine the City Hall business and ask the hard questions. 

 The change was inevitable if the new Council was to do its fiduciary duty.  Thus, it became necessary to clean up the mess at City Hall.  Amongst most of the others, Councilman Djernaes has been there to ask for accountability and ask the hard questions.

However, another important issue is the timing of this Recall. With there being another election in November with two seats up for City Council, why a recall effort now?  The unhappy group must want an insurance policy so they can regain control of the city treasury and staff with one clean sweep.

 In addition, the Recall group has also chosen their candidate.  The selection is also curious in that the candidate is the former Santa Barbara County Sheriff, one well aware of local politics.  If he seriously wants to be a Solvang city councilman, like other citizens, he can submit his petition this month for the November 2020 election. There is no need to be a part of city divisiveness.   

With all of the financial challenges facing the City due to the Covid-19 crisis, why create more expense and angst at City Hall?  The retired sheriff should know better.

This is no time for a Recall!