Debate begins over who should be next mayor of Springfield

Springfield Alliance for Police Accountability created a petition calling on the city council to avoid appointing current council president Joe Pishioneri.

Posted: Aug 19, 2020 6:26 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2020 6:30 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Not even a week after Christine Lundberg stepped down as mayor, the community is already talking about who they want to see lead the city.

Springfield Alliance for Police Accountability created a petition calling on the city council to avoid appointing current council president Joe Pishioneri. The group said his history of being a police officer should disqualify him as an option, especially in the current political climate.

RELATED: EYSTER REACTS TO LUNDBERG'S SUDDEN RESIGNATION

Pishioneri said he has not even considered throwing his hat into the ring.

He said in a statement: "My single and only focus as council president is to ensure the operations of the council and city continue seamlessly until an appointment is actually made. I encourage you to follow our process as we make an appointment to fill the Springfield mayor vacancies."

Patrick Tierney, the co-founder of the group, said the petition isn't meant to focus on Pishioneri. He said they want to bring attention to creating a transparent process when selecting a new mayor.

MORE: NO SPRINGFIELD MAYOR ELECTION UNTIL NOVEMBER 2022

"We're primarily focused on having a robust democratic process that allows for all sides to have a voice and to allow potential applicants to put their hat in the ring," Tierney said.

He said he wants the city council to hold public hearings to give the public a chance to weigh in on candidates. He also said this is an important position to fill because if the appointee decides to run in 2022, they will be an incumbent and they will have a higher chance of being elected.

Tierney said Springfield residents have an opportunity to weigh in on choosing a fresh face for a constantly changing world.

"They're in the unique position to basically step outside of the old garden and potentially choose new leadership in a new social-political landscape," Tierney said.

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