WAVERLY – Waverly City Councilman Bill Gerdes has released the statement that will be attached to petitions calling for his recall.

In the short statement, which are required to be 60 words or less, Gerdes said that he loves the city of Waverly and has been “honored to represent you on the City Council these past 10 months.”

The recall movement began officially on Oct. 3 when Eric Angell filed paperwork with the Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively.

Things came to a head after the Sept. 24 city council meeting that approved a preliminary plat in the Riley Addition.

Several members of the public, including Angell, spoke in opposition to the plat.

The plat passed 3-0 with Councilman Andy Cockerill abstaining due to a potential conflict of interest.

In his statement, Gerdes offers a short explanation of his decision to vote to approve the plat, saying “recent decisions regarding development were guided by what the law requires, not by what I or others may want.”

Gerdes closed his statement, “I will always be accountable and available, and you may contact me at ... any time.”

Gerdes said he sent the defense statement to the county election commissioner Monday morning via email and Shively confirmed he had received it.

Now that the county election commission has received the defense statement, the commission has five days to apply it to petitions and notify the primary circulator, Angell.

Angell, who has requested 20 petitions for the recall effort, will then have 30 days from the time he picks up the petitions to acquire 226 valid signatures from Ward 2 to initiate the recall vote.

If the recall vote was successful, Gerdes would be removed from office and replaced by an appointment by Mayor Mike Werner.

Werner’s appointment would be subject to approval by the city council and would serve the rest of Gerdes’ term, which would expire in 2022.

*(Editor's Note: Gerdes' phone number that was published as part of Gerdes' statement in the print version of the story has been removed from the online version.)*

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