Bill McDonald recall, Bessemer Area Schools, Michigan (2014)
An effort to recall Bill McDonald from his position on the Board of Education of Bessemer Area Schools in Michigan was launched in August 2013, but eventually was abandoned. While supporters of the recall circulated petitions in order to qualify the recall question for the ballot, they did not ultimately submit any signatures.
Recall supporter arguments
The recall effort was led by another school board member, Sheri Graham. Graham leveled the following allegations against McDonald:
- Intentionally lied at board meetings
- Lied to voters about a May 2013 school bond issue McDonald opposed
- Ignored district policy regarding contract bidding
- Used foul language at board meetings.
Bill McDonald's response
McDonald denied all allegations other than using foul language, which he says all members on the board have used.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing recall in Michigan
On August 20, 2013, the Gogebic County Election Commission, composed of probate judge Joel Massie, county clerk Gerry Pelissero and county treasurer Sue Pertile, rejected Graham's petition language for absence of factual basis. Graham indicated she would resubmit the petition after removing the parts that drew objection from the Commission. The Commission approved revised language on October 18, 2013, that dropped allegations of lying at board meetings. Graham had 180 days after the approval date to gather 270 signatures. This total equaled 25 percent of the number of people who voted in McDonald's district in the 2010 gubernatorial election. If sufficient petitions had been received and approved, the earliest date possible for a recall election was May 2014. The district's business manager estimated the cost of a May recall election at $3,500.
Ultimately, no signatures were submitted.
- Your Daily Globe, "Gogebic County Election Commission turns down wording in recall petition," August 21, 2013
- Margaret Koenig, "E-mail correspondence with Gerry Pelissero, Gogebic Clerk of Court and Register of Deeds," August 14, 2014
- ABC 10, "Gogebic County - Nov. 5, 2013," accessed December 18, 2013 (dead link)
- Your Daily Globe, "Wording for McDonald recall petition approved," October 18, 2013
- Your Daily Globe, "Petition to recall Bessemer school board member circulated," November 18, 2013
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