- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) - Opponents of the Cannon Beach fire chief’s dismissal have collected enough petition signatures to force a recall election for three directors of the fire protection district.

The Daily Astorian reports (https://is.gd/qwWFC9 ) the Clatsop County clerk’s office anticipates an April election for voters to decide whether to recall Linda Beck-Sweeney, Garry Smith and Sharon Clyde.

Cannon Beach resident Susan Neuwirth organized the petition drive. She says Mike Balzer volunteered for 30 years before becoming chief, and one day last fall he was locked out of his office and met with a police escort.

The directors defend their decision. Clyde says the best athletes don’t always make the best coaches, and the firing was about Balzer’s administrative skills - not his skills as a firefighter or dedication to Cannon Beach.

Balzer has sued over his firing, saying it was about “personal animus.”


Information from: The Daily Astorian, https://www.dailyastorian.com

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