The Cascade Bicycle Club has reversed course and re-hired executive director Chuck Ayers on an interim basis until a permanent director can be found. Last week, as PubliCola first reported, the Cascade board abruptly fired Ayers, citing issues with his management style. Members speculated, however, that Ayers had been asked to leave because of his focus on policy advocacy, rather than on the group’s less-controversial programs, such as its recreational rides.

There was also widespread speculation that Ayers was let go because he refused to rein in the club’s sometimes volatile lobbyist, David Hiller, who pushed unsuccessfully for the vulnerable users’ bill and other bike-related legislation last year. Hiller has been directed not to comment on the board's decision to fire Ayers.

Late last week, Cascade members began discussing a petition to recall the board in response to Ayers' ouster. One possibility was that the pro-Ayers faction would put forward a slate of 11 pro-advocacy candidates to occupy the board, which can be as large as 21 members but currently has only eight. The decision to restore Ayers to his position was reportedly an effort to prevent such a coup. However, members are reportedly still discussing the possibility of a recall.

Ayers did not return a call for comment, and board member Tim Hennings said simply, "No comment. Not today."
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