Elgin mayor resigns

September 26, 2012 10:39 am

By Bill Rautenstrauch
The Observer

John Stover’s rocky term as mayor of Elgin came to an abrupt end Tuesday as he tendered his resignation.

Elgin City Administrator-Recorder Terrie Richards confirmed this  morning that Stover quit, and said the mayor gave no reason. Stover could not be reached for comment. City Councilor Alan Duffy said he received an
email from City Hall Tuesday announcing the resignation. Duffy said he didn’t want to comment beyond that.

Stover’s two-year term expires at the end of this year. City Councilor Brent Linville is running for the position unopposed in the upcoming election.

Stover, elected in November 2010, was the target of a recall attempt in February of this year. The recall, organized by a group known as the Elgin Political Action Committee, stemmed from outrage over the Aug. 1, 2011, shooting of Richard Shafer by Elgin Police Officer Erik Kilpatrick.

Shafer was killed in the incident. A Union County grand jury ruled the shooting justified under Oregon law, but in a series of meetings following the incident, many Elgin residents complained about Kilpatrick’s actions and also said the city council’s oversight of the police department was not up to standards.

Both Kilpatrick and Police Chief Kevin Lynch resigned in December. Later, the council decided to contract with the Union County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

Stover survived the recall bid by 12 votes.

More recently, Stover and the council have been embroiled in a controversy over enforcement of city ordinances, with some residents complaining about actions by Ordinance Officer Mike Little. Earlier this month the council suspended Little pending further discussions.