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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Simone Rede

Promoting open and accountable government

William L. Brewster Recall Effort

1914 Commissioner William L. Brewster
Recall Attempt Failed (17,896 Yes votes 28,976 No Votes)
Reasons for demanding recall (as printed on ballot):
  1. His administration of his department has been extravagant.
  2. He is unfit for office because he is entirely lacking in efficiency, stability and good judgement, and the administration of his department has been detrimental to the business and industrial life of the city.
  3. Under his administration many competent and worthy employees of the city have been discharged without just reason and contrary to the spirit of the civil service law.
Commissioner William L. Brewster's justification of his course in office (as printed on ballot):
No public officer in Oregon has a great opportunity for constructive work than a City Commissioner.  To obtain results he must develop a plan and then execute it, even when opposed by both honest and self-interested critics.  I have worked hard for the city, have done my full share in the reorganization required by the charter, and believe I have promoted and maintained an efficient and economical administration.

The parks have been made more useful, and the playgrounds will now bear comparison with any on the coast.  In the last ten months more than half a million persons have used the playgrounds and swimming pools, in addition to the uncounted thousands who have enjoyed the parks.  From the funds available, I have been able to get more for the people out of each dollar spent.  For example, 65,000 persons attended the band concerts in 1913 at a cost of about ten cents each, and 147,000 attended in 1914 at less than 6 1/2 cents each.
I have removed three regular employees, and five who were on probation.  Two of these cases have been before the Civil Service Board, who approved my action in one and disapproved in the other.