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Independence Township recall group surrenders to time clock

June 30, 2010 - After nine months since they began efforts and with the clock ticking down, recall activists have decided to "reluctantly suspend the recall."

"Despite having collected over 3,600 signatures by the end of April to recall Independence Township Supervisor David Wagner (1,200 more signatures than the number of votes he received in the August, 2008 primary election), the Recall Committee now believes that we will not meet our deadline of July 30 to place the issue on the November, 2010 ballot," said Henry Woloson, a member of Citizens Against Independence Township Waste (CAITW).

With signatures only being valid for a 90 day period, Woloson said they couldn't replace signatures from three months ago fast enough.

The group needed enough signatures equal to 25 percent of the number of voters in the last governor election. According to the Oakland County Clerk's office the recall group needed at least 3,869 signatures in order to place the vote on the ballot.

"Our goal has always been to avoid having the Township taxpayers incur an additional $42,000 bill for a special recall election by piggybacking on either the August, 2010 primary or the November, 2010 general election," Woloson said. "We are extremely encouraged not only by the support of 3,600 Township voters but also by the recent decision in Oakland County Circuit Court that the recall petition was valid and that the state recall law is constitutional, contrary to Mr. Wagner's claims in his lawsuit against Oakland County."

He noted, many voters told the group they preferred to address many claims of township mismanagement during an election rather than a recall. Woloson said it's not too soon for concerned citizens interested in running for township office "to begin the process to engage voters and learn about the serious issues facing our community."

He is also grateful to all those who signed the petitions and volunterred their time, giving special thanks to Joel DeLong and his wife Mindy who collected the most signatures for the cause.

Wagner said he's "real glad it's over with" and that he has "no hard feelings or disappointment."

"I'm relieved. I think it's going to be a plus for the township," he said. "We can get back to work because this is a very difficult time in the township right now and that's the most important thing is to make sure we keep moving forward in these poor economic times."

Though the current petition drive is suspended, the group's interest "in better local government" is not.

"We sincerely hope concerned citizens will remain engaged and vigilant so that our government officials act in our collective best interests," he said. "Good government results not only from people going to the polls to vote but also remaining active and holding our elected officials accountable for their decisions after elections take place."

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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