In 1967, a Deschutes County group called Citizens for Honest Government tried to recall a county commissioner and judge. The group claimed the officials were restricting citizens’ property rights by creating ordinances restricting certain development on private land.
That recall failed, as did a recall effort against two county commissioners in 1979.
But from 1980 to 2002, the county saw nine recall attempts, five of them successful.
Across Oregon, private property issues have sparked hundreds of local recall pushes, said Jim Moore, a political science professor and government director for the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
Recalls were especially common in Southern Oregon counties during the 1980s, Moore said. An economic recession and new environmental regulations crippled industry in timber-dependent counties. Conflicts between loggers and environmentalists prompted waves of recalls in communities throughout Douglas, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath counties.