Gene Adkins, Theresa Bays and Alexander Sims recall, Emmett Charter Township, Michigan (2011)

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A vote about whether to recall Gene Adkins, Theresa Bays and Alexander Sims from their positions as elected officials of Emmett Charter Township in Calhoun County, Michigan took place on February 22, 2011.[1]

All three officials were recalled from their seats. [2][3]

R. Gene Adkins was the Supervisor of Emmett Charter Township. Theresa L. Bays was the township's treasurer. Alexander Sims was a trustee on the board.

Recall organizers said that they were motivated to launch the recall because at the May 2010 "special assessment" meeting on the board of trustees, the board of trustees did not provide an idea of the total cost and did not give township residents the opportunity to vote on a proposed "special assessment" tax increase.[4]

Kevin Meyers was originally targeted in the recall effort, but he resigned his elected position to take a position as a motor carrier officer with the township and, therefore, became ineligible for recall.[5]

Gene Akins

The question on the February 22 ballot pertaining to the recall of Gene Adkins said:

Statement of Reason:

Statement of Reason: Supervisor Adkins is not responsive to the will and opinions of the Township electorate. He denied residents the right to vote on a millage question. At the March 16, 2010 Township Board meeting, Supervisor Adkins voted no on a motion to put a Public Safety millage proposal on the ballot, and he voted yes to create a Special Assessment District that does not require voter approval. At that meeting, he said 'if we are going to do a Special Assessment anyway then why let the residents think they are making the final decision'.

Justification of conduct:

Justification of Conduct in Office: Due to our clerical error, the expiration of our Public Safety millage occurred before time permitted a vote to be taken to restore that lost money. This left us with two legal options. Law requires a balanced budget. The loss of that millage resulted in a shortfall which led us to either cut Public Safety staffing immediately, or create a special assessment district to fund the lost money from the expired millage. Waiting for a vote later in the year was not an option that the state allowed. One of the above options had to occur; therefore, I cast my vote in the interest of the safety for all of our residents and their property. I had a difficult decision when asking myself, what is the value of a person’s life or their property? It is very troublesome to know that I could be held responsible for the loss of one of your loved ones simply to save the very few dollars that the special assessment district charged. I served 28 years as an officer in our township, risking my own life as I devoted myself to your safety. Accordingly, I truly value your life and property. Shall R. Gene Adkins be recalled from the office of Emmett Charter Township Supervisor?

Theresa Bays

The question on the February 22 ballot pertaining to the recall of Theresa Bays said:

Statement of Reason:

Statement of Reason: Treasurer Terri Bays is not responsive to the will and opinions of the Township electorate. She denied residents the right to vote on a millage question. Treasurer Bays put the interest of the public safety employees ahead of her obligations to the residents. At the March 16, 2010 Township Board meeting, Treasurer Bays voted no on a motion to put a Public Safety millage proposal on the ballot, and she voted yes to create a Special Assessment District that does not require voter approval.

Justification of conduct:

Justification of Conduct in Office: The safety of the residents of Emmett Township is very important to me. That is why I voted for the Special Assessment for Public Safety Operating. The millage for Public Safety Operating expired, and without the Special Assessment, seven Public Safety officers would have been laid off. This would have left one cross-trained officer (police, fire and medical first responder), on the road to protect our entire Township of 12,000 residents. One officer on the road will not keep our families safe. Shall Theresa L. Bays be recalled from the office of Emmett Charter Township Treasurer?

Alexander Sims

The question on the February 22 ballot pertaining to the recall of Alexander Sims said:

Statement of Reason:

Statement of Reason: Trustee Andy Sims is not responsive to the will and opinions of the Township electorate. He denied residents the right to vote on a millage question. Trustee Sims put the interest of the public safety employees ahead of his obligations to the residents. At the March 16, 2010 Township Board meeting, Trustee Sims voted no on a motion to put a Public Safety millage proposal on the ballot, and he voted yes to create a Special Assessment District that does not require voter approval.

Justification of conduct:

Justification of Conduct in Office: I was elected to act in the best interest of the township. I voted for a special assessment, which avoided the layoffs of 7 to 10 employees and the decimation of our Police and Fire Department. With a 7 month time frame before a voting opportunity was available, I knew that the elimination of Police and Fire service during that time period was not in the best interest of our 12,000+ township residents. I would have preferred that this issue have been put on the ballot, however, due to the urgency of the situation, I did not feel we could wait 7 months. This had nothing to do with denying anyone the right to vote, but rather to continue an existing millage that was due to expire, due to an error from our Clerk’s office. My actions were completely legal and within the laws of our State. Shall Alexander Sims be recalled from the office of Emmett Charter Township Trustee?

See also

References