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Matt Langer recall, Sherwood, Oregon (2013)
A group calling themselves the Sherwood Community Action Committee launched an effort to recall Matt Langer from his position on the city council in Sherwood, Oregon, in May 2013. According to Jennifer Harris, president of the committee, ." . .Councilor Langer's ability to make decisions for the city of Sherwood is clouded by his love and desire for his family to thrive." The committee, however, failed to submit the required number of signatures by the submission deadline, ending the recall effort. The group stated they hoped to oust Langer in 2014 when he is up for regular election.
In 1995, land owned by the Langer family was zoned for commercial development. In 2007, Sherwood's city council reaffirmed zoning approval for commercial development on the site. In July 2012, a real estate developer, Gramor Development, applied for approval to develop a 145,000 square foot retail site on the property. In the fall of 2012, the city's planning commission considered this application for three months and held monthly meetings. Conditional approval was granted. No appeals were filed with the city council, and the planning commission's approval became final on November 26, 2012. On May 6, 2013, Gramor Development announced Walmart would be the anchor tenant on the site.
Sherwood Town Plaza, Sherwood Market Center and Langer Farms Shopping Center have all been developed on land owned by the Langer family for generations, along with other parcels. According to Councilor Langer, his family's company is managed by his father and uncles. He claims he has no voting rights, but merely serves as a liaison between other property owners and the developer. However, he is listed as the company contact for the new development.
Langer was elected to the city council in 2010 and ran unopposed. He said people, ." . .are upset about a particular retailer they might not like and are choosing to take their anger out on me." However, he's concerned the controversy is dividing the town. He noted he's received 30 negative e-mails and some have personally attacked him. Many in town have protested against the development at city council meetings and planning commission meetings. Harris said Sherwood's small town atmosphere was the primary reason she moved to the area about eight years ago. She formed her group with a goal of protecting the environment. She doesn't agree with the way some have personally attacked Langer.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Oregon
In order to hold an election on the recall, Harris and her group would have had to collect signatures from 1,011 registered voters by August 15, 2013. According to laws in the state, if enough signatures had been verified, an election would have to have been held within 40 days.