OGDEN TWP., Mich. – Recall petitions against two Ogden Township officials were turned in to the Lenawee County Clerk’s office Thursday afternoon.
Josh VanCamp, a township resident for 23 years, headed the drive and said the 22 petitions against Supervisor Jim Goetz and Clerk Phyllis Gentz each had 220 signatures. The group working on the recall needed to collect 107 signatures of Ogden Township registered voters, which represents 25 percent of the voter turnout in the 2006 gubernatorial election. Recall backers are opposed to the siting of wind turbines in the township.
“It was a very diligent five weeks that we went door-to-door to get the signatures,” VanCamp said. “We don’t anticipate any problems with the signatures.”
He said recall backers were assigned specific areas to cover in order to avoid duplication. VanCamp said they also found a number of people who didn’t sign the petitions voiced support for the effort.
Goetz and Gentz are charged with conflict of interest and violating the public trust by signing wind energy leases for property each owns. The clerk said Ogden Township does not have a zoning ordinance to regulate land use, which allows property owners to do as they wish as long as state law is followed.
The recall petition wording was approved by the Lenawee County Election Commission in October. The deadline to file the petitions is April 26.
Clerk Roxann Holloway said her office has 35 days to verify the signatures. Goetz and Gentz have 30 days to contest any of the signatures. Neither was available for comment Thursday afternoon.
If enough valid signatures are found, the election would be Aug. 2, which is primary election day. According to state law, elections are only allowed on specific days of the year, Holloway said.
Recall efforts related to the wind turbine issue have also been started against Riga Township Supervisor Jeff Simon and Treasurer Richard Beagle. The Simon petition wording was approved March 23 and the petition wording against Beagle was approved Wednesday.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding