Recall petitions rejected, petitioner does not plan to resubmit

July 24, 2015

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

SHELBY — Petitions to recall village council members Ben Michalko and Sharita Prowant were unanimously rejected by the Oceana County Election Commission Friday morning, July 24, during a clarity hearing, said Oceana County Clerk Rebecca Griffin.

The three-member commission comprised of Griffin, County Probate Judge Brad Lambrix and County Treasurer Sheila Gowell, made a unanimous decision to reject the petitions’ wording because they “lacked clarity,” Griffin said.

Lou Nichols of Shelby, who filed the petitions, said he does not plan to refile, because he does not have enough time to get the recall on the November ballot. However, Nichols is hopeful that his effort got the village’s attention and that the council members will work toward unity. “Hopefully the village can come together,” Nichols said. “Hopefully, more people will come to the village meetings. Maybe Ben and Sharita will start doing what’s best for the village.”

Recent council meetings have resulted in finger-pointing and arguing, creating an exasperating situation, some council members have described. Councilwoman Mary Lulich became so fed up with the situation that she resigned earlier this month.

With the recent resignations of Village Administrator Aaron Desentz and Village Treasurer Sue Denny, along with the constant fighting among council members, Nichols said he launched the recall campaign because the village was not making any progress. “This village is pretty much at a standstill,” he said after filing the petitions. “They put the brakes on it. We have a village with no supervision.”

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