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It's back to the drawing board for recall petition

December 16, 2009 - Recall proponents vow to carry on after county election officials rejected their ballot proposal.

"Not having done this before, I expected that revisions might be needed," said Henry Woloson, treasurer of the group Citizens Against Independence Township Waste, formed to recall township Supervisor Dave Wagner.

Oakland County Election committee considered the ballot proposal, Dec. 14, rejecting it due to language not being adequately clear.

They plan to resubmit a petition this week, Woloson said.

Wagner said he felt good, but was sad they have the opportunity to resubmit because it is "disrupting government." He also said the language "doesn't have to be truthful."

"If there is clarity to it, that's all that matters on a recall petition, so any factual basis makes no difference. I don't think people really understand that part because I didn't either, I thought you live and die on your merits," Wagner said. "If something was approved, it was approved. If it wasn't approved and you did something wrong, then you should leave – simple as that."

However, Woloson pointed out the state Constitution, Article II, section 8 concerning recalls, states "the sufficiency of any statement of reasons or grounds procedurally required shall be a political rather than a judicial question."

"This means that the electorate decides recall matters and therefore needs to receive a clear listing of the reasons for a recall," Woloson said.

He gave an example of a 1960 case of Wallace vs. Tripp, where the Michigan Supreme Court said, "the basic power is held by the people in both our nation and our state. Our State Constitution as presently drawn places much confidence in the proper functioning of an intelligent and informed electorate."

"Let the people decide the issue," Woloson said. "It is our right as citizens."

As far as the petition goes, CAITW President Mike Powell said he wasn't disappointed in the committee's ruling.

"I was sort of expecting to run into a few bumps along the road, there are only a few minor things they wanted change on it and we fully expect it to be approved next time around," Powell said.

"We aren't at all giving up. that's for darn sure, that's not in our program. If we've got to go back 100 times that's what we're going to do."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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