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Petitions circulate to recall two Siloam Springs City Directors

The petitions were started because citizens feel decisions are being made without public input.

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. — Petitions are circulating in Siloam Springs to recall two city directors after the city’s administrator is fired without cause earlier this month.

Siloam Springs city administrator Phillip Paterson was fired on March 7 after the board of directors votes four to three to terminate his contract. No reason for terminating his contract was given.

“There's a troubling pattern of important decision-making that's been going on from Select Board members of the city board, without regard to public opinion,” said Kelsey Howard.

This is why a group of concerned citizens decided to start petitions to recall directors Lesa Rissler and David Allen because they motioned to terminate Patterson. Kelsey Howard is one of the concerned citizens.

“There's the concern about wasted tax dollars, that the severance package to Phillip Patterson was $180,000. And that was a specific scenario to him being fired without cause,” she said.

As the recall efforts have progressed, a Facebook page called Unite Siloam has been created to inform citizens about what they say is happening in city government.

Robin Waits is a downtown business owner and supports the recall saying there are no human resources documents saying that Patterson did a poor job. She believes there were other motives as to why these two directors wanted to fire him.

“The city recently went over the city survey of citizens to say, how are we doing? And overwhelmingly people in Siloam were happy with the way things are. So if our city administrator was doing such a poor job, why wasn't that documented?,” said Robin Waits.

Waits says in order to recall Allen they must collect 2,000 signatures and about 400 for Rissler. If they collect enough signatures by June, a special election will be held later in the summer.

“There are about 25 people that are out gathering signatures, and everyone that I've spoken to say they have a lot, a lot of signatures. People just want to know what's going on and they want our leaders to listen to them,” she said.

We reached out to the City of Siloam Springs for comment, and they said at this time they do not want to comment on the petitions. We also reached out to the directors being recalled but have yet to hear back. The petitions can only be signed in person and by registered voters of Siloam Springs. The petitions can be found at Two Gals Junk and Ivory Bill Brewing Co. There are also volunteers going door-to-door with the petitions.

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