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Attempt to recall Luray mayor falls short

By ABBY BELDEN

abelden@dailynews.net

LURAY -- In the small Russell County town of Luray, disagreements on certain city projects, meetings and "misconduct in office" led to an attempt to recall Mayor Chuck Pyle.

The Russell County clerk's office reported 42 community members voted for the recall, while 65 voted against it.

These results are unofficial, as they are pending until the Nov. 15 canvass, which is when provisional votes will be addressed.

A recall committee formed in an attempt to remove the current mayor from office due to "misconduct in office," the Salina Journal reported Oct. 31.

Some of the allegations, the Journal reported, were that Pyle not only allowed advertisement inserts to be placed in June city utility bills, but also allowed a city utility account to miss a payment.

The origin of the recall can be traced to the city council's decision in April to give ownership of a piece of Fairview Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets to the Stream of God Ministries.

The Rev. Ralph Cotterill, according to the article, purchased a public school building with plans of constructing it into a location for summer Bible camps and a college for missionaries.

The reasoning behind the request to close the road was safety for the children the location would host when completed.

There was also an issue with the location of a future plan of constructing a pond near a city park and houses.

Bruce Libal, a recall committee member and former mayor of Luray, said he helped gather 70 to 80 signatures on an informal petition to keep the road open and in use.

Recall results aside, the mayor will be up for re-election in April.

Libal said he and a few others are planning to run for positions within city government.