Recall petitioner, board members talk about recall

REPUBLIC TOWNSHIP — On May 26, Fred Nannestad filed recall paperwork against three members of the Republic Township Board: Supervisor Gary Johnson, Treasurer Kristina Koski, and Clerk Marilyn Brancheau.

Nannestad says that the board isn’t doing their job of maintaining the township’s sewer system and that a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality sent to the township back in March proves that.

“We think the sewer system needs some attention because it’s been neglected for many, many years indicated by the newsletter,” said Nannestad.

Republic Township Supervisor Gary Johnson knows that the sewer system isn’t in the best of shape, but he says it still works properly.

“We have gone along patching the system and maintaining the system,” said Johnson. “Is it still viable? Yes. Is it still working properly? Yes.

The township has had problems recently with the sewer system. Back in 2008, a sewer salve broke at the township’s lagoon, and it was very expensive to replace. According to Johnson, the townships water grant through the Rural Development Authority is all cleaned up and RDA has told them to prepare for a sewer grant to fix the township’s sewers.

“We have been trying to get the money to repair this,” said Johnson. “The trouble is right now is that if we had our people pay for this, its $260 per month for two years. Would you want to pay $260 a month for two years cash when you could go out and get a 75/25 grant and pay $42.50 a month?”

This isn’t the first time that Johnson has been recalled. In fact, Johnson says that Nannestad has coordinated at least seven prior recalls dealing with Republic Township employees.

“We have not been able to figure out what he is doing, why he is doing it, but he does it consistently. It’s a regular basis.”

Johnson says that the reason that Koski and Brancheau are getting recalled is a result of human error dealing with a pay voucher for attending a work related meeting outside of Republic Township.

“We believe that there should be a recall election in Republic to give the citizens a chance to voice their opinions on whether or not they want to pay this excess amount of money that the management wants us to pay, or find some new people to do it a little differently,” said Nannestad.

“What bothers me is that a small township like this putting out thousands and thousands of dollars in recalls and not having enough money to take care of what the people want.”

The clerical hearing about the recall takes place on Thursday, June 11 in Marquette.