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Replacing recalled council members explained

August 2, 2008
By LINDA LOBECK, Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN - Three Iron Mountain City Council members face recall during the primary election on Tuesday.

Up for recall on the ballot are Eden Caudell in Ward 1, Robin Tchokreff in Ward 2 and Daniel Burke in Ward 3.

If one or all three council members are recalled during the election, the procedure for filling vacancies created by recall will be followed according to the Michigan Department of State Bureau of Elections.

Article Photos

Campaign signs have gone up throughout the Iron Mountain area in preparation for Tuesday’s election. The top issue in the city is the recall vote for three Iron Mountain City Council members Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photos

According to the information on the state website, "If the recall is successful, a special election is conducted on the next regular election date to fill the office vacancy."

Dickinson County Clerk and Register of Deeds Dolly Cook said that the next election would be the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

A vacancy created by recall will be filled by candidates filing nominating petitions within 15 days that the election results are certified.

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Those candidates would then be on the Nov. 4 ballots.

Cook added that the Board of Canvassars will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 6 at 1:30 p.m. If the board is finished with canvassing the votes, nominating petitions will be available that day and must be returned within 15 days.

A petition will require a minimum of three signatures and a maximum of 10 signatures to be filed.

According to the city charter, a vacancy on the council can be filed by appointment, but that would require a quorum of the council.

Depending on the results of the election, there may not be a quorum of the seven council members present to make an appointment.

According to the Bureau of Elections, candidates seeking election to a nonpartisan office left vacant due to recall, like city council, must file a nonpartisan nominating petition.

"The nonpartisan petitions must be filed within 15 days after the special election to fill the vacancy," according to state rules. A primary is not held."

Other steps in the state recall procedures have already been followed according to the Michigan State Constitution, Article II, Section 8, which extends Michigan voters the right to recall all elective officers except judges of courts of record.

Once petitions for recall were filed by Barbara Toedter in Ward 1, Ted Corombos in Ward 2 and Carol Schneider in Ward 3, a clarity hearing was held before the County Elections Commission.

The commission is made up of Cook as county clerk, Margie Tarsi as county treasurer and Probate Judge Thomas Slagle.

The commission determined that all three petitions were clear. The next step was for the petitioners to gather enough valid signatures and this was determined by the clerk's office on May 1. Challengers had 30 days after filing the recall petition to challenge the signature of the circulator of the petition or person signing the recall petitions.

The decision of the elections commission was appealed in Dickinson County Circuit Court on May 20. Circuit Court Judge Mary Barglind denied the appeal challenging the decision of the elections commission.

State procedures for recall noted that "each reason for the recall must be based upon the officer's conduct during his or her current term of office."

The recall petitions are limited to 200 words or less and this is the wording that will appear on the ballot on Aug. 5.

Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is



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