Concerned Residents File Recall Petition Documents With County To Remove Four Saugatuck Township Board Members
Saugatuck Township residents/registered voters saying they are fed up with the misfeasance, bad decisions and abusive atmosphere involving their elected and appointed officials, have filed documents with Allegan County to hold a vote to recall four members of the Saugatuck Township Board of Trustees.
The recall effort is targeting Saugatuck Township Clerk Brad Rudich, and Saugatuck Township Board Members Lori Babinski, Douglas Lane and Roy McIlwaine.
If successful, township residents will have an opportunity to vote to remove all four officials from office.
On Monday (Nov. 20) at 2 p.m., a public hearing before the Allegan County Election Commission is scheduled in Allegan County Probate Court on the lower level of the Allegan County Courthouse, 113 Chestnut St., Allegan, MI for a “Clarity/Factual Hearing” to discuss the language of the recall and the legal requirements to remove the four officials from office.
The public is invited to attend and address the commission.
In documents filed with Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski, Allegan County residents and registered voters Cindy Osman and Kathy Sturm stated the following reasons for the recall of each of the four township officials:
* Contrary to the best interest and safety of the citizens of Saugatuck Township, Rudich, Lane and Babinski voted on Aug. 2, 2017 to adopt the 2012 edition of the International Fire Code with amendments that eliminated some provisions for fire safety, being sections 16-27 and Chapter 16 Article III of the Township Code to Regulate Fire Prevention and Protection.
* Contrary to the fiduciary responsibility of the Office of Township Trustee, Rudich, Lane and Babinski at the Aug. 2, 2017 board meeting voted to amend the cost recovery sections of the Township ordinance being section 16-27 and Chapter 16 Article III of the Township Code to Regulate Fire Prevention and Protection.
* Contrary to the best interest of the citizens of Saugatuck Township, at the Special Board Meeting on Aug. 16, 2017, Rudich, Lane and Babinski voted to reprimand rather than remove employee Aaron Sheridan from his position of Township Manager for various acts of unprofessional conduct.
* Contrary to the best interest of the citizens of Saugatuck Township and the Saugatuck Township Fire District, Rudich, Lane and Babinski on Oct. 4, 2017 voted not to meet with the Saugatuck Township Fire Board to discuss differences between the Saugatuck Township Board and the Saugatuck Township Fire District.
* Contrary to the intent to provide transparency to the citizens of Saugatuck Township, Rudich, Lane and Babinski on Oct. 4, 2017 at a township meeting, voted against videotaping Saugatuck Township Board meetings.
Saugatuck Township Trustee Roy McIlwaine also is facing a recall effort to remove him from office because at a “Special Board Meeting on August 16, 2017, Roy McIlwaine voted to reprimand rather than remove employee Aaron Sheridan from his position of Township Manager for various acts of unprofessional conduct.”
In their letters of recall to Allegan County Clerk Genetski, the recall petitioners wrote:
“It is with regret that we submit this petition as we should feel trust in our elected officials to protect its citizens, however, at this juncture we feel there is no alternative.”
All four township officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday before press time, but will be given an opportunity to respond after Monday’s public hearing for the recall effort. Several township residents say there is a groundswell of support to remove the officials.