Group meets to discuss potential recall of mayor, two councilors
A meeting to discuss plans to recall the mayor and two members of the Sherwood City Council drew more than 80 people to the Sherwood Senior Center Monday evening.
Jim Copfer, chief petitioner of an effort to recall Mayor Krisanna Clark-Endicott and City Councilors Jennifer Harris and Sally Robinson, has begun filing the neccessary paperwork so he can begin collecting the needed signatures to get the measure on an upcoming ballot.
Copfer said there were several issues with the mayor and City Council that he doesn't believe are resolvable and hopes to begin collecting the needed 1,427 signatures needed to get the issue on a ballot as early as next week.
Clark, Robinson and Harris ranked a Minnesota-based company as their top choice to provide future recreational services for residents over its current provider, the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette.
Among the specific reasons mounted for a recall of Clark, Copfer wrote in his recall petition, is a contention that she, "has failed in her fiduciary responsibilities, behaves in an unethical (manner), and continues to move the city of Sherwood in a direction that is not in the best interest of the community and contradicts the will of the citizens."
The proposed recall petition lists, as an example, replacing the YMCA with a for-profit corporation, with a claim it will cost the city $100,000 to $300,000 per year to subsidize their losses.
The city is pursuing a contract with HealthFitness instead of signing a contract with the current operator of the city's recreational center, the Sherwood YMCA, which has told the city it would have a surplus if selected as the city's provider.
In Copfer's recall language, he also claims Clark "verbally abuses citizens and fellow council members" and alleges that she no longer is a full-time resident of the city.
Meanwhile, the petition asks that Robinson and Harris be recalled for failing in their fiduciary responsibilities with the replacement of the YMCA as an example, also mentioning their support of pushing for a contract with HealthFitness as a reason.
Clark-Endicott called the recall and the proposed language "inaccurate and histrionic," asking how she can fail in her fiduciary responsibilities if the city is still going through the process of negotiating a contract with the organization.
"No decision has been made," said Clark-Endicott, adding that the numbers for losses related to the health fitness company are inaccurate because they aren't known yet.
Clark-Endicott called the question of residency completely ridiculous.
"I own my home (here)," she said. "That's where I receive my mail. That's where I live."
She added that there is no requirement she knows of that requires her husband, George Endicott, the mayor of Redmond, to live in the city, and said her children are not elected officials and where they reside or go to school is no one's business.
"My parental decisions are not up for discussion," she said.
Copfer, a former member of the Sherwood Planning Commission, said even if HealthFitness is not chosen as the preferred provider, he still plans to push the recall issue forward.
"My personal opinion is all three of these people are going to resign," Copfer said.
Meanwhile, Robinson discounted the recall effort.
"I think this effort is merely retaliatory in nature by those heading the group and does not represent the majority of Sherwood residents," she wrote in an email. "I think they will lose momentum in the near future, and that the citizens of Sherwood will not be willing to sign any petition to recall any of the three councilors."
She also said she believes HealthFitness proved to be a competitive contender to operate the city's recreation center and, if a contract with them is approved, "I think the majority of Sherwood residents will be pleasantly surprised at their professionalism and experience."
The Gazette couldn't immediately reach Harris for comment.
Copfer said he plans to get the recall to voters during an upcoming special election or as a supplemental ballot in the November election.
The city has begun negotiations with HealthFitness and plans to return to the Sherwood City Council Sept. 19 or Oct. 3 with contract language. The council needs to have a 4-2 signoff on the proposal, according to Sherwood's city attorney, who has said a tie vote would mean the resolution to enter into a contract with the recreation provider would fail.