6:16 pm - Friday April 18, 2014

Pre-certified petition has enough signatures for recall election

Councilman Vernon Woods speaks during a council meeting on April 22. (Ben Felder/Citizen)

Councilman Vernon Woods speaks during a council meeting on April 22. (Ben Felder/Citizen)

One hundred and forty signatures were submitted to Piedmont city hall on Friday afternoon requesting a recall election for Councilman Vernon Woods.

Pam Suttles, a leader of the Central Oklahoma Property Rights Association (COPRA), told the Piedmont Citizen that the recall petition had been submitted with 30 more signatures than required. City hall was closed for the weekend and could not confirm receiving the petition.

COPRA was established last year as a grassroots movement against a wind farm project near Piedmont and has accused Woods of meeting with officials from Apex Wind Energy in an attempt to allow wind turbines to be built inside Piedmont. Those meetings inspired members of the organization to seek a recall election.

“People had a wide variety of reasons for wanting to sign,” Suttles said. “Let’s just say that Vernon is well known in his ward.”

Suttles said as many as six volunteers had spent the past few weeks collecting signatures and that many residents who signed the petition said they had voted for Woods as recently as last year. Woods was reelected to Ward 2 in 2012.

Woods declined to comment for this story.

According to Piedmont’s charter, the city clerk will have 15 days to certify each signature. If at least 110 are determined to be valid, the city council will call for an election.

The Woods recall effort is the third in less than two years in Piedmont against a city councilman.

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