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Oakridge power struggle pits mayor vs. administrator

On Tuesday night city administrator Louis Gomez narrowly averted being sacked by Mayor James Coey.

Posted: Mar 28, 2018 12:12 AM
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 1:34 AM

OAKRIDGE, Ore. -- A small-town power struggle has pitted the mayor of Oakridge versus the city's administrator.

At a special city council session Tuesday night Mayor James Coey argued that administrator Louis Gomez should resign.

But several members of the community spoke out in defense of Gomez, saying he has turned the city around financially, and describing him as a person of integrity.

Gomez himself fired back at Coey, saying the mayor has repeatedly disregarded what's best for the city by pursuing his own gains.

Coey would not say exactly why he wants Gomez gone, citing advice from his counsel.

"There's some disagreements between the city administrator and myself," he said. "There's no reason for a power grab, I don't have that kind of ego, I don't need to have a power grab.  I just want what's best for the city...and I don't feel that's being fulfilled."

In the end, the city council voted 4-3 to keep Gomez in his job.

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