CAMAS — Mayor Shannon Turk stays away from social media, but she knows if there’s a cheerful sign on her door when she gets home, it was a rough day for her online.
“I’ve been coming home to a lot of signs lately,” Turk said. “My daughter makes them. She sees a lot of that stuff. She leaves them to let me know I’m loved and appreciated.”
Turk is coming up on the one-year anniversary of her appointment as mayor, and things have gotten increasingly testy around this city of 24,000. On Nov. 5, residents will vote on a bond for up to $78 million to build a community center. The city council’s decision to ask residents to foot such a large bill, and how they’ve relayed information to the public, has some people angry.
Residents say they haven’t seen this level of citizen engagement on previous issues, nor this level of vitriol directed toward city leaders. In the last few weeks, three residents have launched write-in campaigns for the November election, including two candidates for mayor, based on how the city has handled the lead-up to the bond vote. Others have taken to social media, council meetings and other public forums to express their distrust toward those in charge.
“I don’t understand the anger,” Turk said. “There is so much anger, like we’ve already imposed the taxes. We’re just asking people if they would support this.”