CASCADE -- Accusations made at a Cascade City Council meeting Monday have now launched an effort to recall the mayor.
Folks said he sexually harassed women in town, and should not be leading the city. The mayor said that is unfair.
At Monday night's Cascade City Council meeting, several women came and read letters about their negative experiences with Mayor Dick Carter. These women claim he sexually harassed them, and that he is racist. After the letters were read, the three city council members at the meeting made a unanimous vote of no confidence.
Carter says the average Cascade City Council meeting is likely to draw about 20 people. Monday's meeting had more than 70. One of those women was Beth Bengoechea, whose granddaughter wrote a letter detailing an unpleasant interaction with Carter. Bengoechea said her daughter overheard him saying vulgar things about women in city hall last November.
"She came home to tell me about it, and she said, 'I was so shocked, Grandma, and so disgusted I couldn't believe what I was hearing,'" said Bengoechea, who was not surprised.
"To speak like that in the city offices, it's so degrading to women as a whole, and he always seems to go with women slurs. It was vulgar. It was degrading. It was disrespectful and very unprofessional," she said.
Bengoechea and council member Robert Terry are two people who want to see Carter step down, instead of having to do a recall.
"It'd be best for the citizens and the City of Cascade not to go through the whole process," said Terry. "I believe he will easily lose this recall. There's too much animosity over this. It's a very, very personal issue to the citizens."
The mayor said this is about drama over the golf course. Terry said that is not the case. However, Carter maintains the timing of the accusations is strange.
"The letters, most of them written by women, referencing my sexual harassment in one way or another, most of them were written over three, four years ago. Or the incident that they referred to was three, four years or more," said Carter.
Carter said he is not racist, as some of the letters suggest, and did not intend to make any women feel uncomfortable.
"If any of those women felt like that I was belittling them or sexually harassing them, I'll go to every one individually and apologize to them because that was not my intent," said Carter.
Emily Sullivan said Carter sometimes puts his foot in his mouth, but that what he has done out weighs that.
"I don't think we have anyone else in Cascade that works as hard as Carter does or put in the hours that he does. And how hard he goes around trying to get businesses and money in this town," said Sullivan.
"It's been absolutely amazing the things I've seen. The man has a heart of gold, and he really cares about people," said Lanamarie Bear, another supporter.
This would be the second recall election for Carter, and for that reason, even some people who support him would like to see him step down.
"I don't want to see our town torn apart. I don't want to see him torn apart like he was last time," said Cynda Herrick, a former council member.
Carter told KTVB he hasn't decided whether he's going to step down or try to beat a recall.
Terry said they need 185 votes to get Carter recalled.