North Pole mayor fights recall, says claims unfounded

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FAIRBANKS - North Pole Mayor Doug Isaacson says mismanagement claims by backers of a recall effort are unfounded.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Isaacson told North Pole residents in a newsletter this month that he will address specific accusations against him in a separate mailing.

"The saying 'where there's smoke, there's fire' does not necessarily mean the fire is in the mayor's office," Isaacson wrote in the newsletter.

The North Pole Community Coalition Effort to Recall North Pole Mayor Douglas W. Isaacson claims the mayor violated the North Pole municipal code multiple times by failing to collect sales taxes from the defunct restaurant Dahlman's.

It also claims Isaacson misused personal leave, abused city credit card privileges and disposed of steel sidewalk shelters without City Council approval.

Councilwoman Dianna Lindhag and insurance agent Tammy Randolph are leaders of the recall group. They say city documents, acquired via public records requests, show a trend of Isaacson violating city code.

Isaacson said in the newsletter that just because the recall was certified to appear on the municipal ballot does not mean the allegations against him are true.

The mayor also discussed city finances in the newsletter, saying bank balances are in acceptable shape "all things considered."

A proposal to raise fees and cut back on planned equipment purchases is before the City Council on Sept. 7 after costs for employee insurance and pensions turned out to be higher than expected.

The city's fund balance of about $350,000 - what's left over after the bills are paid - is reportedly on the low end of what auditors suggest, according to the city accountant.

Voters in North Pole will be asked Oct. 5 whether they want to recall Isaacson, a former mortgage broker serving his second term.

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