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Group launches recall petition against Langer, urges city ordinance to prevent Walmart from coming

The Sherwood Community Action Committee has to collect 704 signatures before Aug. 15


Matt LangerA group opposed to a proposed Walmart store coming to Sherwood has filed a recall petition against Sherwood City Councilor Matt Langer.

The petition was filed Friday by the Sherwood Community Action Committee, a registered political action committee.

Among wording in the recall, the group claims that Langer has “blatant disregard of the will of the voters” and claims he has a conflict of interest, saying that “his sale of real estate slated for development within the city limits is a clear conflict of interest” based on a recent announcement that a Walmart will be built on property Langer family members own. Langer serves as a spokesman for the family’s real estate company Langer Family LLC.

Sherwood City Recorder Sylvia Murphy said the recall group, which lists Jennifer S. Harris as chief petitioner, has until Aug. 15 to collect 704 signatures in order to place the measure on a future ballot. As of Tuesday evening, 120 signatures had been collected, said Harris.

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Editor Ray Pitz sat down with Langer this week to discuss the Walmart site, the reaction from the community and the recall.

Murphy said in response to the recall petition, Langer can either choose to resign or fill out a statement of justification.

Once the signatures are validated, and Langer determines whether he’ll resign or submit a statement of justification, an election must be held within 35 days, said Murphy.

During a recent interview, Langer denied having a conflict of interest, saying all issues involving the Walmart zoning and property were decided before he was elected to the Sherwood City Council in 2010. Since then, he has recused himself during other issues related to Langer family property, he said.

Also, as spokesman for the 17-member Langer Family LLC, Langer said he had no official vote on whether Walmart would be selected as the anchor for the 20-acre shopping complex or not.

Meanwhile, during a Sherwood City Council meeting Tuesday, Harris asked the council to consider a variety of ordinances that could bar Walmart from building a store here. Among suggestions were:

Requiring retailers who have more than 150 employees to request a full-time schedule without fear of a penalty before additional employees are hired. Also requiring a work schedule at least two weeks in advance and providing part-time employees who work at least 15 hours a week with benefits.

Banning large retailers from staying open 24 hours a day or allowing 24-hour parking.

Banning sales of firearms within 1,000 feet of a school. St. Francis is within that boundary, said Harris.

Require that buildings must be reoccupied within a year or torn down at the original retailer’s expense with the building has more than 100,000 square feet of floor space.



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