Still recalling

FLINT TWP. — True to her word, township resident LaVonna Harris is not giving up on her effort to recall Township Supervisor Karyn Miller.

For the fourth times since mid-May, Harris has filed a recall petition that first must have its wording approved as “clear and factual’ by the Genesee County Elections Board. The board has thrice rejected Harris’ prior attempts, citing inaccuracies in the petition language.

The elections board is made up of Chief Probate Judge Jennie Barkey, county clerk John Gleason and county treasurer Deb Cherry.

A clarity/factual review of Harris’ fourth petition, filed on July 22, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday Aug. 7 in Barkey’s courtroom, 900 S. Saginaw Street, according to the Genesee County Elections Division. It was filed one day after Harris’ third petition was rejected.

Harris’s fourth attempt states that: “On June 16, 2014, at a regular Flint Township board meeting, Supervisor Karyn Miller voted to approve ballot language for the November 4, 2014 election for a 10-year, 3.85 Millage Proposal for Public Safety.”

That language adds more detail to the language of her third petition, which stated: “On June 16, 2014, Supervisor Karyn Miller, voted to approve ballot language for the Nov. 4, 2014 election for a 10-year, 3.85 Millage for Public Safety.”

The language failed the clarity test because it did not state Miller’s municipality.

Harris also changed her petition language after the first two attempts.

Harris’ first petition alleged that Miller “ proposed, voted for and implemented a township budget with an annual operating deficit exceeding $1 million.”

In a 5-2 vote in November, the township board of trustees approved a 2014 budget of $11.528 million that was balanced by using $1.7 million in reserve funds.

Miller has said previously that she is just one of five trustees who approved that budget.

The seven-member board also unanimously approved the public safety ballot language, which is the subject of Harris’ most recent petition complaint.

If Harris’ petition succeeds in the next round, petition circulators would have 60 days to gather the required number of signatures to put the issue on the ballot. However, recall elections can only take place in May and November, according to state law.

A recall petition must be filed by August 1 in order to be placed on the November 4 ballot, according to the State of Michigan Elections Dates Calendar published online by the Secretary of State.

Under recent changes in state law, after the petition is verified, Miller’s name would be placed on the next ballot to retain her position alongside anyone who chose to run against her.

Miller was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

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