Ogemaw County recall, Michigan, 2010
At a clarity hearing on September 10, 2009 the Ogemaw County Election commission ruled 2-1 against the first recall language petition submitted to them, saying that the language was unclear. Petition supporters Older and Beck were allowed to re-file the petition language. On September 16, recall language was refiled by Older and Beck. New language against West states, "Commissioner West neglected to stop the discussion of the spouse’s condition and treatment." Language against Klackings states that he "failed to inform or suggest that a discussion of an Ogemaw County employee’s spouse’s medical condition be ceased and no names, condition, and treatment to be stricken from the public record." On October 1 the election commission voted 3-0 that the new language for both recalls was clear.
Response to recall
In reaction to the recall petition, Klacking said that he is "baffled" and confused. Klacking defends his actions at the meeting by noting that although he may talk to the baord he does not control them, "You have chairmen on your committees," he said. Klacking added, "It is unfortunate that in Michigan, our recall law allows a person to be recalled for pretty much any reason under the sun. It does not have to have any basis in truth or reality. Statements can be made, and then if the language is clear, based on what the election commission reviews, then it can be placed on a ballot if the signatures that are required have been collected."
According to West, once the insurance committee discovered that the conversation should have been handled differently a special meeting was scheduled. "I believe it’s now been about six months since this incident happened. The family has never said anything to me about it. I don’t believe they’ve said anything to any of the insurance committee. Nothing was done intentionally to hurt this family. Everything was done to help them. I guess I’m a little stumped, if what happened was so bad to cause a recall, why they didn’t come to me when it happened and discuss it. And why did it take so many months to file the recall petition,” said West.
According to recent reports, not all county residents agree that County Clerk Gary Klacking and Board Commissioner Chairman John West should be recalled because it's simply "not the best way" to handle the issue. Although most residents not dispute the fact that talking about an employee's wife's medical condition during an open meeting was not the best decision made by county officials, the recall will cost taxpayers money they can't afford to spend, argue residents.
Path to the ballot
In order to place the recalls on the ballot a minimum of 250 valid signatures are required for West and 1,880 for Klacking. Recall supporters have 180 days to recall but may submit signatures collected in the last 90 days.
- Recall campaigns in Michigan
- Political recall efforts, 2010
- County commission recalls
- Saginaw County, Michigan ballot measures
- The Ogemaw County Herald, "Recall language filed against county clerk, commissioner," August 27, 2009
- Ogema Herald, "County clerk states required number of signatures for recall petitions was inaccurate," April 15, 2010
- Ogema Herald, "Recall petition signatures may come up short," April 5, 2010
- The Ogemaw County Herald, "Election commission rules recall language unclear,"September 11, 2009
- The Ogemaw County Herald, "Recall language re-filed against West, Klacking," September 16, 2009
- Ogemaw Herald, "Commission rules recall language against West and Klacking is clear," October 1, 2009
- The Ogemaw County Herald, "EDITORIAL: Proposed recall is a waste of taxpayer money," September 2, 2009
- The Ogemaw County Herald, "Petitions circulating for recall of Klacking and West," November 6, 2009