Lost and (un)Found, Missing Ballot Petition in Calumet is Causing Trouble for Council

Last week the Mining Gazette produced two articles explaining the existence and subsequent loss of a ballot petition, requesting that the position of village clerk in Calumet be elected by residents. Back in August two ballot petitions had signatures collected with the intent of having the village treasurer and clerk become elected positions. One petition was signed and verified by the township of Calumet, for the position of treasurer. The other one for the clerk, has since been lost, after having been received by Acting Clerk at the time, Dave Giesler. During a special meeting last night to discuss the ballot initiatives, things got heated between the council and petitioners, Virginia Dwyer and Peggy Germain

Brian Abramson, Calumet Council President – “As for your petition you can take that up with the township. Yours. Your petition you can take that up with the township…

Virgina Dwyer – “We did.”

A – “… They did not follow through correctly.

D – “I will follow through.”

A – “And as for Peggy’s. That got lost in the shuffle with our manager changes.”

Peggy Germain – *cross-talk*

A – “Hold on! Hold on! Yours is between you and the township.”

G – “No it is not. You had to discuss it as a meeting. That mine was verified. You did not do that.

A – “We don’t verify things.

Abramson, Dwyer, Germain – *Cross-talk*

D – “You have to inform the public, and put a notice in the paper. That there is a referendum petition to re-frame your ordinance. You have to do that. Look the law up. You did not do that.

A – “Okay, moving on. Is there anymore petitions from the public?

Following the public comment, the council took the advice of the lawyer and to repeal the ordinances that allowed the council to appoint a village treasurer and clerk. Adopting ordinance 160 to repeal ordinances 157 and 158.

James Tercha, Village of Calumet Legal Council – “So my recommendation is, to be fair to these petitioners. That we repeal the ordinance that deals with the appointment of the village clerk.

Dwyer – *Cross-talk*

T – “Moreover, I understand, that if we go to an election in May. On the other ordinance. It would cost the village, according to the clerk. Potentially three to five thousand dollars. Whereas if we later reenact these ordinances. At a point in time, such that, if there were petitions on the reenactment of ordinances. The election would occur during the general election in November.

The positions will be on to the ballot during an upcoming election. The council may write updated ordinances that deal with the position of clerk and treasurer in the coming months. If and when that does happen, both Dwyer and Germain would need to resubmit verified petition signatures to have those positions brought up in an election.