A special committee charged with crafting possible ordinances regarding future retail operations in Sherwood pushed forward an ambitious agenda that includes looking at livable employer wages, overnight parking and 24-hour business operations.

The group met for the first time Wednesday night to examine a myriad of potential ordinances that will ultimately be forwarded to the Sherwood City Council for consideration with the option of placing them on an upcoming ballot.

Committee members elected Meerta Meyer, a real estate professional, as chairwoman before delving into the issues they want to talk about in subsequent meetings over the next four weeks.

One issue that came up numerous times was examining a “living wage” ordinance, a discussion expected to take place Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Sherwood City Hall.

The committee directed Chad Jacobs, an attorney with Beery Elsner & Hammond, to look into wage issues including the recently passed (Washington) D.C. Council’s bill that would require some retailers to pay employees a 50 percent premium over what the city’s minimum wage is. Passage of the bill came after a warning from Wal-Mart that the law would affect its plans to build stores in the nation’s capital, according to the Washington Post.

Similarly, Sherwood’s retail ordinance committee was formed after vocal protests over a May 6 announcement that a Walmart store would built in Sherwood.

The committee plans to meet every Monday and Thursday until Aug. 6 (the date any ordinances would be forwarded to City Council for consideration). The exception will be a meeting set for Friday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss issues of overnight camping, the use of pesticides by retailers (in light of the recent bee deaths at a Wilsonville Target), storage of chemicals and other issues.

Next Thursday’s meeting will include information related to businesses being open 24 hours a day. That meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Sherwood City Hall. Click here for a complete schedule

Originally a nine-member group, the retail ordinance committee has already dwindled by two as both Dave Robins and Alicia Shaw bowed out, according to Assistant City Manager Tom Pessemier. As a result, the council can appoint two additional members or simply go with a seven-member committee, he said.

Sherwood Mayor Bill Middleton said he thought the formation of the citizen ordinance committee was good because it puts the onus on the citizens regarding how they would like future retail operations to look like. Meanwhile, the mayor called The Oregonian’s Sunday editorial entitled “Wal-Mart won't ruin Sherwood, but town's reaction could” surprising.

While he said he had no feelings on Walmart one way or the other, he didn’t like the newspaper telling Sherwood residents “how to run our town.”

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