FLINT TWP. — After twice failing to gain approval of recall petition language against township supervisor Karyn Miller, a township resident is trying a different tactic.
Lavonna Joyce Harris filed a third petition on July 11. This time Harris’ reason states: “On June 16, 2014, Supervisor Karyn Miller, voted to approve ballot language for the November 4, 2014 election for a 10-year, 3.85 Millage for Public Safety.”
The seven-member township Board of Trustees unanimously approved the public safety ballot language.
In previous recall attempts, filed in early May and on June 20, Harris cited the township’s “deficit budget” as the recall reason. In both cases, the Genesee County Elections Board rejected the petition for failing to meet the standard of being “factual and clear.”
A recall petition cannot be circulated before first passing muster at a clarity/factual review by the Elections Board. That board is made up of Chief Probate Judge Jennie Barkey, County Clerk John Gleason and County Treasurer Deb Cherry.
The next hearing is set for July 21 at 2 p.m. in Judge Barkey’s courtroom on the fifth floor of the Circuit Court building. Both parties are expected to be present with their attorneys.
Miller said that the July 2 court review lasted about 10 minutes before being rejected. She also said that Harris and her attorney indicated then that they will keep trying until they get language approved.
“It’s a distraction” Miller said of the time spent repeatedly defending herself in court.
If Harris’ petition language is ultimately approved, petition circulators would have 60 days to gather the required number of signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
Recall elections can only be held in May and November, according to state law.
August 1 is the last date a recall petition can be filed for a recall question to appear on the November 4, 2014 general election ballot, according to the State of Michigan Elections Dates Calendar published online by the Secretary of State.
A recent change in Michigan recall law also prohibits recalls of elected officials during the first or final year of a four-year (or longer) term and also limits recall attempts to one per term.
Miller can run to retain her seat on the same ballot as any challengers, should recall proceedings against her eventually succeed within the allowed time frame.
Miller was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.