Monday, April 23, 2012

Michigan: Three village trustees facing recall filed by village president (who is facing a recall himself)

Excellent write-up by Matt Vande Bunte for Grand Rapids Press/MLive on this small town recall. Pierson Village President Karl Van Haren, who is facing a recall on May 8, is now trying to recall three of his opponents, Village trustees Duane Griffes, Verna Smigiel and Rebecca Starr.

Van Haren, who has been president since 2010, is alleged to have created a hostile work environment. Several Village Council members and officials resigned last year and the council was unable to meet for months due to a lack of a quorum.

Not a surprise that Van Haren calls the recall “a personal vendetta," blaming his neighbor Starr over a fight over the removal of infected ash trees from 66 feet of village easement.


The county clerk notes that it very rare that another individual is specifically blamed in a justification statement.

The recall cannot get on the ballot before August. However, the signature requirement is not that great of a burden. He needs six signatures. Of the village's 112 registered voters, 26 voted in the November 2010 general election and 11 voted in February's presidential primary election.

And finally, here's a great quote:

“He filed fairly similar wording against them,” Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard said. “I hope we can get this resolved because it has taken a lot of effort on everyone’s part. We’re talking about a village of, what, 100 people?”



It is apparently 172 people.

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