Michael Cox, Stuart McKinnon, Antonio Martini and David Ritter recall, Kalkaska County, Michigan (2012)

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An effort to recall Michael Cox, Stuart McKinnon, Antonio Martini, and David Ritter from their positions as county commissioners in Kalkaska County, Michigan, was launched in November 2011.[1] Cox resigned due to health issues on January 31st, 2012. Signatures for McKinnon and Martini were submitted in February 2012. Signatures against Ritter were never submitted.[2] Martini resigned in April 2012 after being arrested for driving under the influence.[3] McKinnon was retained in office after a vote on May 8th, 2012.[4] The recall effort against these four commissioners was supported by Kalkaska County Commissioner Brian Donnelly, who was facing his own recall attempt prior to his death in January 2012.

Reasons for recall

All four recall targets were accused of misusing their positions and authority with "a combination of harmful decisions and illegal acts."[5] The officials were also accused of voting to eliminate funding for a Michigan State University Extension and the Kalkaska County Conservation District; violating the Open Meetings Act; voting to pay Attorney John Axe up to $9,375 to “conduct an unnecessary study he is not qualified to do;" and refusing to restore funds for county services despite voting to retain a more expensive law firm to represent the commissioners.[5] Ritter, Martini and Cox are also faulted for voting to provide health care coverage at taxpayer expense to same-sex domestic partners of county employees. Ritter, Martini, and McKinnon were charged with twice preventing a library bond proposal from appearing on the ballot. Cox and McKinnon were accused of voting to eliminate funding for a housing program serving senior citizens.[5]

Path to the ballot

Petition language was approved on November 10th.[5] The petition language had previously been rejected for being unclear.[5] Recall organizers needed to collect a total of 1,453 signatures by November 25th.[5]

In late November, 239 signatures were turned in on the recall petition for Cox. 177 valid signatures were needed. Cox appealed the language on the petition, and a clarity hearing before judge Dennis Murphy took place on December 6th.[1]

In February 2012, signatures were turned in for McKinnon and Martini. McKinnon’s recall petition required at least 213 signatures and received an estimated 281 signatures. Martini's petition required at least 180 signatures and received an estimated 214 signatures. Signatures against McKinnon were verified, and he survived a recall election on May 8th, 2012.[4]

Election results

  • Votes to retain Stuart McKinnon: 116
  • Votes to recall Stuart McKinnon: 86 Defeatedd

See also

External links