Recall petition shot down by commission

MARQUETTE — Probate Judge Cheryl Hill was one of three people on the Marquette County Election Commission that denied a recall election in Republic Township for Supervisor Gary Johnson, Treasurer Kristina Koski, and Clerk Marilyn Brancheau at Thursday’s clarity hearing.

Hill cited Michigan law in that the purpose of the clarity hearing is to determine if the language in the recall petition is factual and of sufficient clarity. All three members on the commission agreed that the language in the recall petitions was based on opinions, not factual information.

Republic Township resident Fred Nannestad filed the recall paperwork. He was disappointed in the outcome of the hearing.

“That’s the way it is and we’ll move forward from here,” said Nannestad, who says he does not plan on filing an appeal.

“I believe that it would have been a miscarriage of justice if they would have approved the petitions,” said Johnson. “While you could read them, they weren’t based on fact.”

“We’re satisfied and relieved that the issue is behind us and now we can move forward and get our work done,” added Johnson.

The work Johnson is referring to is the work that needs to be done to the township’s sewer system. In order to get things fixed, the township is working with the Rural Development Authority on a sewer grant to get the sewer system fully up and running.

“We’re pulling together the lasts of our costs. Some of the numbers projected aren’t as good for outside participation as we thought, so we’re going to have to change some if it,” said Johnson.

Not everyone is on board with the way Johnson and the township board wants to fix the sewer system.

“The sewer system as it stands has been poorly maintained for years and years and years,” said Nannestad. “Prices have been continuously rising over the years and now we’re being asked again to pay to replace it. We’re paying twice for a sewer system? I think we need new management for the sewer system.”