2012-05-24 / News

HLCS board member recall petition language approved

Three Houghton Lake Community School Board of Education members now have an official recall petition against them as the Roscommon County Election Commission has deemed the petition language clear enough, based on state statutory requirements.

Mark Souder of Houghton Lake filed the petitions a second time against President Tom Dean, Vice-president Dave Johnson and Treasurer Tim Scherer after first being turned down by the commission because his original language was deemed too vague.

At a clarity hearing May 21, the commission, comprised of Judge Douglas Dosson, Interim County Clerk Lynn Williams and County Treasurer Rebecca Ragan, approved the language based on clarity only.

“When I read it, I understand it,” Ragan said of the language.

The recall language petition is the same for all three and the reason stated for the recall reads as follows: “Violation of board by-law 0166 that states the order of business may be altered and items added at any meeting by a majority vote of the members present. On 3/26/12 when a motion was added and carried without properly being added to the agenda without the majority vote.”

When Dosson gave each board member affected by the recall the option to make a statement, Johnson chose not to speak, while both Dean and Scherer addressed the commission.

“With this language, will the voters understand what the issue is?” Dean asked. “Is the issue a decision that was made that some don’t agree with or a process that was followed, because I’m not sure.”

Scherer echoed Dean’s comments and suggested that the petition language is incomplete, but Dosson said it is not the commission’s task to judge the merits of the language.

Clerk/Register of Deeds Supervisor Jamie Purtell told the Resorter in a May 22 telephone interview that a total of 1,613 signatures per petition must be obtained by Aug. 3 from among voters in the school district for the issue to go on the November, 2012, ballot.

Souder, who was not present for comment at the May 21 clarity hearing, previously told the Resorter he intends for the recall to be on the November ballot.

“I think they’ve forgotten about our kids,” he said. “I think the community’s ready for a change.”

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