FLINT TWP. — For the second time in recent weeks, Township Supervisor Karyn Miller was scheduled to meet court on Wednesday for a recall attempt by a township resident.
Lavonna Joyce Harris filed a petition on June 20 alleging that Miller “voted for a operations deficit budget in 2014,’’ according to documents provided by the Genesee County Elections Division.
Harris previously filed a similar petition in early May that was rejected by the elections board due to inaccuracies in the language. The first petition alleged that Miller “ proposed, voted for and implemented a township budget with an annual operating deficit exceeding $1 million.”
In early November, the township board of trustees voted 5-2 in favor of a $11.528 million budget balanced by using $1.7 million of its reserve funds to make up for a revenue shortfall.
Miller noted that she is just one of five trustees who approved the budget.
Commenting earlier this week, before the hearing, Miller said she hoped that the second recall petition also would be rejected because it is not accurate to state that she approved a “deficit budget.” By law, the budget must be balanced which was done by using reserve funds.
Miller said she has met with Harris to discuss her grievances, which include bad roads and a damaged garbage receptacle. Miller said the garbage receptacle has been replaced and she informed Harris that complaints about road conditions on M-21 should be directed to the Genesee county Road Commission.
Harris did not respond to a request for comment.
Miller said she and her attorney would face Harris and her attorney July 2 at a clarity hearing in the courtroom of Chief Probate Judge Jennie Barkey who serves on the Genesee County Elections board along with County Clerk John Gleason and County Treasurer Deb Cherry.
Under state law, a “clarity/factual review” is the first step in the recall process before a petition can be circulated. . The elections board is charged with determining if the recall language is “clear and factual.” The board unanimously rejected the language in Harris’ first petition.
If the petition language is approved this time around, petition circulators would have 60 days to gather the required number of signatures.
Recent changes in Michigan recall law limits recall elections to May and November of each year. It also prohibits elected officials from being subject to recall during the first or final year of a four-year term and also prevents them from having to face more than one recall during a term.
Miller was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. She noted that due to changes in the way recalls are conducted, should the petitioners gather enough signatures and the matter come to a vote, her name will appear on the ballot to retain her position alongside any opponents who decide to run against her.