MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Marquette Area Public School recall petition has reached a decision.
On Friday, September 1st at the Marquette County Annex court, the County Treasurer, County Clerk, and County Judge voted unanimously to reject the petition to recall MAPS board members, Jennifer Klipp and Jennifer Ray, for voting to retire the Redmen and Redette nickname. That petition implied the board had a legal obligation to keep those nicknames. “The wording that was presented to us today was ‘failure to retain the redmen and redette names for the Marquette Senior High School by voting to retire the nicknames on July 17th, 2023’,” commented Marquette County Clerksman Linda Talsma.
In a statement made by Klipp and Ray, a mail-in public survey on retaining the nicknames was conducted 6 months prior to Klipp and Ray being elected as board members. “The survey went out in April of 2020 or was received I wasn’t quite clear on that part however it was before they were even school board members,” continued Talsma.
The petition (pictured below) states that “the results of a survey of district registered voters in April of 2020 in which 59% supported keeping the names”. Klipp and Ray state this isn’t true because it implied that the entire district was engaged in the survey when according to Klipp and Ray “Only 22% of district voters responded to the opinion survey in total; only 13% of the district as a whole responded in favor of keeping nicknames”
“It was unanimously decided that that was not factual and was voted down,” Representative for Jennifer Ray and Jennifer Klipp, Nina Vandenende.
Jeremy Beerman, who filed the petitions, was not in attendance at the hearing. The county explained their concern as they aren’t sure whether or not the survey conducted was signed by registered voters of the board.
“Who signed these surveys we’re they registered voters in the Marquette School District I don’t know that, I would’ve liked to have questioned those, those were my two questions I had I couldn’t get any answers in that respect then I have to say no,” continued Talsma.
Beermen has 10 days to appeal the decision made by the election committee. The Marquette School district says they will start the rebranding process later this year and hopes to have potential ideas for the new name by October.
“We are Marquette, regardless of what our nickname is we are Marquette and we will continue to be a strong district and we will do what’s best for our kids our community and our staff,” commented MAPS Board President Chritan Cambensy.