In what has become an all too familiar pattern, the City of Sherwood has called an emergency meeting for this Monday to reconsider a decision it made two weeks ago. What has changed and why can’t Sherwood find any level of stability?
Lets just recap what has happened in the City of Sherwood in the last 12 months:
- The people elect a new mayor and city council who promptly waste six months trying to kick the YMCA out of town.
- In reaction, the City recalled councilors, prompting the Mayor to resign and move away.
- Feeling their oats, Sherwood’s NIMBY’s saw an opportunity put a “closed for business” sign at the city limits and managed to get Mayor Keith Mays and City Councilor Tim Rosener elected. Both have done their level best to eliminate any opportunity for the city to grow in the future, keeping their isolationist cronies happy.
- Despite Mays and Rosener’s attempt to foil a simple request to Metro to POSSIBLY (not automatically) include 300+ acres inside the UGB, the City Council made a decision that both preserved Sherwood’s character and provided opportunity or measured growth.
- Not satisfied with a fair compromise, Rosener and Mays worked with the School District and its Board of Directors to release a letter condemning the decision made.
- Mays then called an immediate emergency meeting to reconsider the decision.
Folks, this situation is exactly what is wrong with local government in the Metro area right now. All of this chicanery, all of this drama, just to ASK another governing body if it would be OK to plan 300 acres for future development? That’s all this letter to Metro does. For that incredibly simple task, the City of Sherwood and the Sherwood School District have wasted countless hours and dollars beating this issue to death, instead of just sending the letter and seeing what Metro says. Its not a foregone conclusion Metro will even approve the request. During the last expansion cycle, Metro added zero acres. Why all the heartburn over a simple request?
More frustrating than this obvious campaign to keep the City of Sherwood from absorbing its fair share of growth for the region is the actions of new Mayor Keith Mays. The good Mayor, who has ambitions for higher office, has spent his days over the last couple of months playing both sides of this issue. By day, Mays spends his time assuring builders, developers and construction professionals that he is only opposing this expansion tepidly and that he will definitely be in favor of the next expansion process. He has gone so far as to say he is even ok with this expansion request going through, so long as he appears in opposition to it. Meanwhile, in the evenings, he works back channels with the School District and his local NIMBY buddies assuring them he can kill this request. Which is it Mayor Mays? You can’t have it both ways. Do your constituents in Sherwood realize you are playing both sides?
No matter what happens on Monday, our industry has to make sure duplicitous politicians like Keith Mays feel the pain for these kinds of decisions. Mays is rumored to be interested in running for County Commission when the venerable Roy Rogers steps down. Its probably why Mays is working so hard to assure our industry this is a one time thing he “has” to do. We need to send a message to Mays when you play games like this, we aren’t bringing our financial support or voters to help you reach higher office.
If you have the ability or time Monday to attend the hearing it begins at 7PM at Sherwood City Hall. It will no doubt be full of school advocates and NIMBY’s lauding Mayor Mays and the Council for their bravery in reconsidering the decision they made two short weeks ago. Mays and the Council can still do the right thing and forward the request. If they don’t, we need to make sure Mays knows what he did and that it will not be forgotten.