Sherwood: Recall petition for mayor, two councilors, moves forward
A Sherwood resident is moving ahead with plans to recall Mayor Krisanna Clark-Endicott and Councilors Jennifer Harris and Sally Robinson.
James Copfer, who is chief petitioner of the recall effort, is in the process of collecting the needed 1,029 signatures which must be turned in by Dec. 4 to get the measure on an upcoming ballot; in this case, a special election.
On Sept. 5, a meeting to discuss plans to recall the mayor and the two council members drew more than 80 people to the Sherwood Senior Center.
Copfer told those gathered there are several issues with the mayor and City Council that he doesn't believe are resolvable. One of them, he said, was that Clark-Endicott, 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-Endicott, Copfer wrote in his recall petition, is a contention that she "has failed in her fiduciary responsibilities, behaves in an unethical manner, continues moving Sherwood in a direction that is not in the best interest of the community and contradicts the will of the citizens."
Listed in the proposed recall petition as an example is replacing the YMCA with a for-profit corporation, which the petition says will cost the city $100,000 to $300,000 per year to subsidize their losses.
Although those numbers have since changed — with a recent announcement that HealthFitness would actually turn a profit every year for the next five years — Copfer said at a recent council meeting that the mayor and two councilors were OK with the initial loses HealthFitness was reporting and has said he will continue with the recall.
In Copfer's recall language, he also claims Clark-Endicott "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 also 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. The petition also listed Harris' agenda not being in the best interest of the city's future, noting "she endorses recreational marijuana."
On Sept. 6, Clark-Endicott called the recall and the proposed language "inaccurate and histrionic," asking how she could 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. "I did my ranking and that's what I did."
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; where they reside or go to school is no one's business.
"My parental decisions are not up for discussion," she said.
During a Sept. 19 council meeting, George Endicott said his wife is indeed a Sherwood resident.
"Much to my chagrin, Krisanna does not live in Redmond and I don't live in Sherwood," he said, adding that he is disgusted by "ugly attacks" on his wife. In addition, he said the recall petition contains out-and-out lies.
At that same meeting, Sherwood resident Susan Claus said she is concerned about the level of vitriol circulating in the community.
"People who are throwing stones ... it doesn't make any sense to me," she said.
Claus' husband, Jim Claus, accused the YMCA of "playing hardball and everybody knows it."
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.
However, Clark-Endicott says she has no plans to resign.
"I'm doing the job of mayor," she said. "That is the job I'm elected to do."
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."
Councilor Harris did not immediately respond to an email asking for comment.
During the Sept. 5 meeting, Copfer also encouraged those present to write letters to HealthFitness, saying they were supportive of the YMCA remaining the city's recreation provider and that they don't approve of tax dollars supporting a for-profit corporation.
The city has begun negotiations with HealthFitness and plans to return to the Sherwood City Council with contract language on Oct. 3.
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.
Meanwhile, Sherwood resident Alan Pearson has filed complaints to the Oregon Secretary of State's Election Division, claiming that Copfer made false statements on recall petitions for Clark-Endicott, Robinson and Harris.
Pearson wrote to state officials that he objected to many points in the recall petition, including language that the mayor and councilors acted unethically, failed their fiduciary responsibilities and engaged in written abuse and attacks of Sherwood residents on Facebook, saying the latter is strictly an opinion.
A retired political science professor, Pearson is a former member of the Sherwood Planning Commission and previously ran for the Sherwood City Council.