CADILLAC — A township board resignation is the latest bit of political turbulence in Cedar Creek Township.
Citing health issues, Cedar Creek Township Trustee Fred McNabb resigned via a letter presented to the township board on July 3. McNabb's resignation comes just days after a petition was filed with the Wexford County Clerk to recall Cedar Creek Township Treasurer Mary Hallett.
The township has a history of recalls and recall attempts. The last were in 2006 and 2007, county records show.
As with the recalls in 2007 and 2006, this recall attempt comes in the wake of disagreement over issues with the landfill located in the township.
Nancy Scungio, who submitted the petition to recall Hallett, declined to comment for this piece and said she would have a statement in the future.
Hallett, however, spoke to the Cadillac News regarding the recall attempt. She says there are factual errors in the petition language submitted to the county.
The petition language states: "Treasurer Hallett voted to increase her own salary and further enrich herself and family members using township funds but voted against consulting an attorney regarding landfill issues, failed to execute Board instructions regarding legal consultation, misled the Board regarding legal advice, and refused to support a motion to hire an attorney to draft protective ordinances."
Hallett said the salary increases for board members happened a few years ago. She also said it's not possible for her to have misled the township board regarding legal advice because the board had the chance to listen to the recording of a consultation with a lawyer regarding possible ordinances that would have affected the landfill and township residents. Hallett and two other board members voted against paying a lawyer to draft ordinances after consulting with two lawyers alongside Supervisor Larry Rogers and a couple township residents who have been pushing for restrictions on the landfill.
This is not the first time Hallett has faced the possibility of a recall. The last time, it never made it to the ballot — not enough people signed the petition, she said. She was able to talk to people.
This time, it's going to be harder, said Hallett, who has served on the board for 17.5 years, by her own calculation.
"I know exactly what’s been going on since day one,‘ she said. But that's not an asset.
Hallett said she thinks her experience works against her because the "bullies" that are angling for her removal want somebody with less knowledge of the township's history with the landfill.
There’s a lot of new people that don’t know the full story and don’t know her, said Hallett, who has lived in Cedar Creek Township since 1975. "They’ll go on lies without understanding the whole picture."
The elements of the petition language that Hallett says are lies will likely be contested during an upcoming hearing.
A probate judge is tentatively scheduled to hold a "factual/clarity" hearing about the petition language on July 13 at 1 p.m. in Wexford County.
In the meantime, the township board is accepting applications and resumes for people who want to fill McNabb's spot on the board. The board is due to review the applications during August's regularly scheduled board meeting on Aug. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting date was postponed two days to accommodate August's primary election.
If the recall petition against Hallett is approved and if it gets enough signatures, the recall would not appear on the ballot until November at the earliest.