Recall vote on North Pole mayor is set for October

Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010

FAIRBANKS - A recall vote on the mayor of North Pole is set for October after a group gathered more than 120 signatures to get their referendum on the ballot.

Mayor Doug Isaacson is a former mortgage broker serving his second term after a narrow victory last year. Opponents say he violated North Pole municipal code multiple times by failing to collect sales taxes from a defunct restaurant, misusing personal leave, abusing city credit card privileges and disposing of steel sidewalk shelters without city council approval.

North Pole Councilwomen Dianna Lindhag, insurance agent Tammy Randolph and real estate agent Melissa Bidwell are leading the recall effort. The city clerk certified the signatures this week.

Isaacson said the effort is led by people who supported his main opponent last year and remain bitter.

"Boy, if these people had put their energies into something productive for the city, imagine what we could move forward, but they have misrepresented the truth and that is tragic," Isaacson said.

But a leader of the recall effort said it resulted from their concerns about financial management.

"This is not a personal vendetta against Mayor Isaacson," said Randolph, who is chairwoman of the North Pole Community Coalition Effort to Recall North Pole Mayor Douglas W. Isaacson.

"It is simply to protect the city's assets," Randolph said. "We believe the city finances have been mismanaged under Doug Isaacson's administration."

Coalition members went back through financial records dating to 2006, Randolph said.

"We pulled legal fees. We pulled credit card expenses. We pulled payroll documents," she said.

The mayor said he plans to address the allegations against him in detail at a news conference next month.

"I do not believe (the recall group) represents a majority of the residents," he said. "I believe most people understand that we are getting the job done and we are doing it properly."

Isaacson has faced public criticism before. He fought two ethics complaints last year filed by Police Chief Paul Lindhag. One of the complaints alleged misuse of a city credit card. The other complaint, alleging Isaacson violated the chief's whistleblower protections, spurred the mayor to sue the city council.

The first ethics complaint was thrown out and the other was resolved in a settlement between Isaacson and the police chief. Terms of the settlement were never disclosed.

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