On October 31st 1990 this article appeared in the Washington Post about Brunswick Maryland:
"Voters in this former railroad town on the Potomac River ousted their mayor today in what was apparently the first-ever successful recall election in the state's history." [WashPost]
The Mayor was Susan V. Fauntleroy. What was she recalled for? The report says she was attacked for:
"increased spending and water rates that skyrocketed under an effort to modernize an antiquated system." [WashPost]
What she had done was to fix Brunswick's water supply and sewage system. She also had committed the crime of being a woman who was a "relative newcomer:"
"Fauntleroy, who had attributed the recall move to her sex and her status as a relative newcomer, said in the statement she had prepared in case of defeat that she was sorry that "prejudice has arisen in Brunswick and that it has overcome, for now, the progress of good government. I regret that I will no longer be involved in charting the future of our town."
I guess no good deed goes unpunished.
Her opponent, Richard Goodrich, who had benefited from playing up misogyny, Fauntleroy's outsider status, and people's fear of change and unwillingness to pay for their services. Won with a record turnout:
"In a contest marked by a record 65 percent turnout for the town of 5,000, challenger Richard Goodrich received 805 votes to 465 for Mayor Susan V. Fauntleroy, whose term would otherwise have expired in 1992."
So of course, once he'd divided the city, Goodrich could pose as a "uniter."
"Goodrich, 48, a lifelong resident who works for International Business Machines Corp. in Gaithersburg, pledged that as mayor he will try to unite the town, which was deeply divided by the movement to recall Fauntleroy, 43, who moved here from Montgomery County in 1977."
Divide and rule, and then talk about unity:
"I'm very much looking forward to working with both those who supported me and those who supported Mayor Fauntleroy," said Goodrich, who immediately donned a sweatshirt that said, "Let's All Work Together for Brunswick."
That's my town!
- Washington Post Article:
- BRUNSWICK OUSTS MAYOR IN RECALL Washington Post By Eugene L. Meyer October 31, 1990