Source: Sherman Publications

Goodrich voters oust Wartella

by David Fleet

May 04, 2011

Goodrich-After serving just five months as village council president, Patricia Wartella was recalled from office following Tuesday’s election.

Village voters opted to remove Wartella with 317 votes (55 percent) to 260 votes (45 percent).

In November, Wartella was voted in as council president after new councilmembers Doug McAbee and Phil Jackson defeated incumbent council president Edmund York along with Dave Lucik. Following the election, McAbee and Jackson, along with Wartella, voted her council president. Councilmembers Pete Morey and Rick Horton voted against the nomination.

Since then, the village has been in turmoil sparked by the removal of Village Administrator Jakki Sidge, the hiring of a new village attorney, and several heated council meetings. The row prompted recall efforts in December.

Her term expired in November 2012.

Despite the outcome, Wartella would not rule out running for office again.

“We are a divided community,” said Wartella following the election. “Half of the community want to move forward—to save money and others just did not come to vote. (Councilman Doug) McAbee, (Councilman Phil) Jackson have everyone’s best interest at heart, they represent everyone not just the nucleus. I wanted the independent study done prior to the election to show people just what was happening in the village. We have to look at ways of saving money. The residents of Goodrich deserve more than they get. There was a lot of propaganda out there. I hope they understnd we need to move forward different than the pathway we’re on. The vote is what it is—57 votes is not a lot. I can walk in this town with my head held high.”

Councilmember Pete Morey said the council needs direction.

“Right now the village clerk is going to run the meetings until a new councilmember is appointed or elected. The village budget is going to be the top priority. It’s not done right now and that needs to be addressed,” said Morey. “We’ll be accepting resumes for possible appointees. These are taxpayer dollars at work here. There’s going to be discussion on a host of issues before a decision is made.”

Village Clerk Patricia Schierup will open the Monday, May 9 meeting.

Village resident Norm Bass, recall organizer, said the village council has to move forward slowly.

“After the recall we have to take it one step at a time,” said Bass. “There’s a lot of issues and concerns to deal with. We all want to do this right, we were very close to no village at all—if there had been more decision making and less closed door meetings it would have been different. I don’t like recalls, but this situation was serious.”