Recall election ousts four out of five board members
Nov. 12, 2014 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Not unlike Ontwa Township, four of seven Plymouth Township board members are recall targets after irate residents filed recall petitions with the Wayne County Elections Commission last month over the boards push to spend $1.9 million on township park facilities. In a retaliatory move, Township Supervisor Richard Reaume filed recall petitions against the remaining three board members.
Last Tuesday’s election is still being celebrated in Ontwa Township after residents unseated four out of five Republican board members. The ousted board members were up for election after a recall stemming from their role in pushing an $8 million wastewater sewage treatment plant that would discharge into Cobus Creek. Foes of the Ontwa Township sewer plant proposal launched a petition drive last May to force the recall vote.
Ontwa Township, with a total area of 21 square miles, is located along the southern border of Cass County, which is also the Michigan-Indiana line.
The five officials were targeted for recall after residents secured the necessary signatures in the paperwork and Cass County Michigan Clerk-Register Monica Kennedy announced in a press release Aug. 28 that the five officials’ posts would be up for grabs in the Nov. 4 election.
The five officials targeted were Supervisor John Brielmaier, Treasurer Meryl Christensen, Clerk Paula Ralph and trustees Norman Krupp and Nathan Brousseau, all Republicans. Trustees Jerry Duck and Jerry Marchetti, also Republicans, weren’t targeted.
Democrats were allowed to appoint one candidate to run for each of the open posts along with other unaffiliated Ontwa Township residents
The reason cited for the recall push, according to the petitions, was a Feb. 10 vote by the Ontwa Township Board to approve a contract between Ontwa Township and Cass County to build the treatment facility.
The Ontwa Township sewer plant plans generated strong opposition among residents living along Cobus Creek, both in Cass and Elkhart (Indiana) counties. The proposed plant, southeast of Edwardsburg, Mich., would discharge into the creek, which flows south through Elkhart County before emptying into the St. Joseph River, and the critics worried the plant would adversely impact the waterway.
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