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Unofficial results show more than 70 percent of voters favoring the councilors' removal from office.

GAZETTE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - A sign advocates 'yes' on the recall of Sherwood City Councilors Jennifer Harris and Sally Robinson.Two Sherwood City Council members have been recalled as part of a special election held Tuesday night, Oct. 17, according to unofficial results.

Preliminary results show Jennifer Harris and Sally Robinson have been unseated, with 72.3 percent and 75.75 percent voting "yes" on the recall, respectively.

James Copfer, the chief petitioner for the recall measure, said he was not surprised by the margin and actually expected it to be higher.

"Honestly, I predicted an 80-20 margin," he said Tuesday evening.

One of the main issues on the recall ballot was a charge of failing in fiduciary responsibilities. That was tied in large part to selection of an out-of-state company to run the city-owned recreation center and not the YMCA, the current provider of services.

"I think that was really the straw that broke the camel's back," said Tim Rosener, communications director and treasurer for Citizens for Accountable Leadership, the political action committee that led the recall charge. "The YMCA was really the trigger issue."

Shortly before the first numbers came in for the recall, Robinson and Harris talked about the measure in the foyer of Sherwood City Hall.

Both were holding large handmade cards showing support for them.

"I feel like no matter what way it goes, I've always done the right thing," said Harris.

Robinson said the way the statutes are written, recalls are easy to get approved, "and I don't think that's necessarily fair."

Both Robinson and Harris will remain on the council until after the election are declared, which has to be within 20 days of the election, or Nov. 6, meaning the two councilors won't be on board at the Nov. 7 council meeting, according to City Manager Joe Gall.

Based on two recent Sherwood Council meetings, packed past capacity with those supporting keeping the YMCA as the primary provider of services at the recreation center, the success of a recall effort became more apparent.

A special council meeting was held Sept. 26 where the majority of council members, including former-Mayor Clark, voted against signing a contract with HealthFitness. Robinson opposed that vote, and although Harris initially appeared to have voice a positive vote in support of the Minneapolis-based health provider, the council later reflected in its minutes that she meant to vote with the majority of council in also rejecting signing a contract with HealthFitness.

The push for a recall came rather quickly with Copfer, a former planning commissioner, and volunteers, collecting the needed signatures and sending them to the county for verification at the end of September.

The recall is the first in recent memory for Sherwood, according to some political observers.

The most recent recall elections in Washington County came in 2011, according to Mickie Kawai, Washington County Elections Division manager. One involved the Cornelius mayor and two members of the City Council, the other was part of an effort to oust two members of the Forest Grove School Board. In both cases, all members were voted out.

By Ray Pitz
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