LYNNWOOD, Wash. — A group of Lynnwood residents is pushing to recall councilmember Josh Binda.
Binda is under fire for an Instagram post and other actions.
Last year, the 23-year-old was accused of misusing campaign funds for personal use.
The Public Disclosure Commission opened a formal investigation and found Binda spent $2,742.49 of campaign funds on designer items, dental work, hair, airfare and entertainment tickets.
“I think we should really be selective on who we really put in our council or board member of any sort,” said Denise Chesbrough, who lives in Lynnwood.
In January, Binda faced an ethics investigation for using the Lynnwood City Council chambers after hours to shoot a promotional video without permission.
Binda has also been getting backlash since last month for sharing a shirtless picture on Instagram to promote his “Love Conquers All” school speaking tour.
Parents are calling the post disgraceful and unacceptable, saying he’s targeting middle and high school students.
“I was a little shocked at first,” said Gabriel Lavalle, who lives in Lynnwood.
“That’s not really healthy for our children when they are young and trying to develop their own leadership,” said Chesbrough.
Binda has said his Instagram post is being taken out of context.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, residents asked Binda to spare them having go through a recall and just resign.
“Now I ask this chamber, when will this embarrassment end? When will the council will stop enabling illegal activity? Inexcusable behavior can no longer be excused,” a resident said during the public comment period.
“My advice to Councilman Binda: Take some time find where you want to land and resign. We’ll all appreciate it,” another resident said.
Binda made it clear that wasn’t going to happen.
“I want to say that I am not going to be resigning, I’ll be staying right here in my position and I’m going to continue being unapologetically who I am and who God created me to be. But if you guys ever want to have a conversation, sit down and get to know me as a person, I’m more than happy to do that,” said Binda.
Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell released the following statement:
“I am greatly concerned about this recall proposal. Councilmember Binda has taken missteps and made mistakes. I believe he needs to own up to those missteps, take action to correct those issues, and move forward so that he can do good work for the people of Lynnwood.
“For the past several years, our city has worked to be more equitable, inclusive, and truly be a welcoming community where all are welcome and belong. Unfortunately, the scrutiny surrounding Councilmember Binda is damaging to the progress we have made and has polarized many in our community.
“Our City staff stands ready to work with Councilmember Binda, just as we would do with any and all of our council members. When our council members are successful, we can work together to create better outcomes for the people we serve.”
The Committee to Recall Joshua Binda has until August to collect 2,500 signatures to get the recall on the November ballot.
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