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Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer recall, Onaway City, Michigan (2014)

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An effort to recall Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer from their positions as City Commissioners of Onaway, Michigan was launched in 2013.[1] A special election was scheduled for May 6, 2014.[2] Based on unofficial results, Horrocks and Schmeltzer were retained.[3]


Judy Shaloy and a group called "Citizens for a Safer Community" led the effort to recall the Onaway city council after the council decided to eliminate the Onaway Police Department and its sole police officer. The council opted to contract with the county for additional patrols over keeping the police department in part of an effort to realign the city's budget to cover a budget shortfall and provide additional funds for local infrastructure improvements. Recall supporters opposed the budgetary decisions.[1][4][5]

Recall supporters were also running an effort to recall City Commissioners Charles Abshagen and Jessie Horrocks and Mayor Gary Wregglesworth. However, the effort against Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer was forced to start later because the two men began their current terms of office in January and state law does not permit recalls for six months from that time.[1][4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Michigan

To trigger a recall election, recall supporters had to collect 58 signatures within 60 days of their petition approval.[5]

In July 2013, recall petitions against Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer were filed by former city police chief James Gibson the day after recall petitions against Charles Abshagen, Jessie Horrocks and Gary Wregglesworth were rejected by the Presque Isle County Elections Commission. The commission accepted Gibson's petitions, and Horrocks and Schmeltzer filed an appeal. In September, Probate Court Judge Scott Pavlich upheld the petition, paving the way for signature collection to begin.[6][7]

A recall election was scheduled for May 6, 2014. The following candidates appeared on the ballot:[8]

For Ron Horrocks' seat:

  • Horrocks
  • Brad Porter

For Bernie Schmeltzer's seat:

  • Schmeltzer
  • Roger Marsh
  • Richard Norman

Horrocks and Schmeltzer were retained, according to unofficial election results.[3]

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