Toledo City Council member Bill Dalbey last week addressed the city council to talk about the city of Toledo giving the keys to the city to Timber Unity, which was mentioned by Jeff Leavy, founder of Timber Unity at the city council meeting discussion on January 27th. Mayor Cross explained that during Summerfest 2019 he gave a sawblade that said "taking a stand for Oregon, thank you Timber Unity on behalf of Summerfest." Mayor Cross said he gave the award on behalf of Summerfest, not on behalf of the city of Toledo.
Councilor Dalbey responded saying that because he, (Rod Cross) is the Mayor he is always acting on behalf of the city. Dalbey stated he did not like that the Mayor presented an award to a political organization that not everyone agrees with. Councilor Michels said he felt that if the Mayor had given an award to an organization that councilor Dalbey supported they wouldn't be having this conversation. Councilor Kamakawa said that it is tough to support something as an individual when you are part of a council.
Councilor Dalbey told the council that he has been contacted by many citizens of Toledo who feel the town is "owned by Timber Unity because of the signs". Mayor Cross explained that he was very clear to point out that he gave the award on behalf of the Summerfestival. Timber Unity committee members and supporters have denounced all labels and false accusations of racism and white supremacy.
At the end of the meeting during council reports Councilor Dalbey said "I regret how the meeting on the 27th turned into being about the signs. It is about what Timber Unity stands for and who they represent." He asked the council to think about the proclamation that they signed on July 22nd and ask that they take steps to live up to the proclamation.
Dalbey added "in the last three weeks I have carefully considered what I am doing going forward. Unfortunately I have concluded that my effectiveness as a member of this council is so diminished that further efforts are not likely to be effective. For that reason I am announcing my resignation from the Toledo City council effective immediately." Dalbey said he holds no ill will toward anyone on the council but he needs to part ways.
"This doesn't mean I am giving up the fight, I am just taking it to a different forum." He urged citizens with the same view as his to write letters, send emails and attend city council meetings and make their voices heard. "I apologize to the citizens for not fulfilling my term in office. Counting the time I have served as an appointed council member I have served for 31/2 years and I have done my best." The council will decide on the process for filling the unexpired term and post the information on their website. Mr. Dalbey's term expires January 2023.