Kathy Chiaverotti, Neome Schaumberg, and Keith Werner recall, Muskego, Wisconsin (2012)
An effort to recall Kathy Chiaverotti, Neome Schaumberg, and Keith Werner from their positions on the city government of Muskego, Wisconsin, was launched in March 2012. Chiaverotti serves as mayor, while Schaumberg and Werner are members of the city council. The recall efforts against Chiaverotti and Schaumberg were abandoned in May 2012. Werner resigned from the council in May 2012, but the recall effort against him continued due to recall supporters' desire to give voters a chance to select Werner's replacement. On May 15, recall organizers announced that they would also abandon the recall bid against Werner, citing a desire to avoid legal battles.
Reasons for recall
Lorie Oliver of Muskego for Ethical Government spearheaded the recall campaign. The recall effort was spurred by citizens who felt that the recall targets had not allowed city residents to have a voice in a recent proposal to buy land and establish a large park. Some citizens had wanted the city to put the park question to a referendum. Land owners who had considered selling their land to the city have since pulled out, killing the park proposal, but recall proponents continued their campaign. Another issue that sparked the recall effort is a lawsuit that the city is currently involved in. The owners of the former Parkland Mall are suing the city for $46 million.
Keith Werner resigned from the council in May. His resignation becomes effective June 2. In his resignation letter, Werner wrote, "during the course of the month of May, I will be taking on additional responsibilities with my full time employer which may reduce my availability to represent the constituents of District 4." On May 14, recall organizers announced that in spite of Werner's resignation, the recall effort against him would proceed. The rationale for this decision was that the city council has the power to name Werner's replacement unless his replacement is elected in a recall election. However, several days after announcing the recall effort against Werner would continue, recall organizers changed their mind and announced they were dropping the recall bid. Recall organizers cited a desire to avoid lengthy and expensive legal battles as their motivation for discontinuing the recall effort.
Chiaverotti issued a statement charging recall organizers with misrepresenting her. Chiaverotti wrote, "after being contacted by residents of Muskego, it has come to my attention that the recall group, Muskego for Ethical Government, is going door to door implying that I signed the Walker Recall Petition. Nothing could be further from the truth." Recall spokesman Lorie Oliver responded, "it's not true. We are not telling people she signed the recall."
Path to the ballot
Recall supporters had 60 days from March 29 to collect signatures. 3,005 signatures would have been required to force a recall election against Chiaverotti, and 430 signatures would have been needed to force a recall against Schaumberg. Recall organizers would have needed to submit 360 signatures on Werner's recall petition by the end of May in order to force an election.
- Muskego Now, "Muskego group reports early recall petition results," April 2, 2012
- Muskego Patch, "Werner Recall Will Move Forward, Others Will be Suspended Says Citizens Group ," May 14, 2012
- Muskego Now, "Muskego Alderman Werner, subject of a recall effort, resigns," May 4, 2012
- Muskego Patch, "Muskego Recall Won't Happen After All," May 15, 2012
- Muskego Now, "Muskego park proposal appears dead, but not the related recall," April 3, 2012
- Muskego Now, "Muskego recall drive could result in another election," April 2, 2012
- Muskego Now, "Mayor charges unfair tactics in recall effort," May 3, 2012
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Muskego recall group drops effort on 2 of 3 officials," May 14, 2012