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Oregon City Commissioner James Nicita, a registered Green, ‘faces recall effort’ over opposition to a new mall

The full story can be read here, below is an excerpt.

Parks has 90 days to collect 1,742 valid signatures from registered voters. If the recall petition is certified, a special election would be held by the end of the year.

CenterCal Properties, which had worked on the mall project and was negotiating an agreement with the city’s Urban Renewal Commission, pulled the plug on the project last month. Nicita spurned offers to meet with CenterCal President Fred Bruning, who made it no secret that Nicita’s continued opposition was a key factor in the decision to kill the mall.

Last year, Bruning temporarily broke off negotiations with the city, citing a “deep division” among city commissioners — Nicita in particular.

Nicita voiced strong criticism of The Rivers, questioning whether it was viable to build a huge mall in a down economy and provide the $17.6 million subsidy the developer requested to offset construction costs. The mall would have been built on an old garbage dump.

When Nicita proposed a city charter amendment that would have killed the project and alienated other developers, more than 400 people showed up to oppose the plan, which was withdrawn.

Nicita suggested other uses for the land and proposed building a nearby trash-burning plant that could turn the waste into electricity.

Nicita, a Pacific Green Party member, was elected to a nonpartisan seat on the commission in 2008.