ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – A group of Delta County citizens continues its effort to remove three county commissioners from office.
During Escanaba’s Labor Day Celebration at the Municipal Park, the Delta County Citizens for Ethical Leadership held a signing event. They asked attendees to add their names to the petitions in support of recalling Commissioner Bob Barron of District 3, Commissioner David Moyle of District 4, and Commissioner Robert Petersen of District 5.
The District 3 petition started the day about halfway to its goal of 1,101 signatures. The District 4 petition reached 60% of its needed 666 signatures during the event.
Citizens for Ethical Leadership member Monica Peach says she was pleased with the public’s response on Monday.
“We got a lot of people driving by and supporting us,” Peach said. “Those who had already signed still gave us the thumbs up. In general, we had really good turnout overall.”
The group started collecting signatures from residents in District 3 and District 4 in early August. Member Kelli Van Ginhoven is proud of the group’s progress in that time.
“I believe both of our teams had a plan, we are executing our plan, and we are coming along as far as we wanted to,” she said. “We’ll just stay on course until we’re done.”
The County Election Commission approved the recall petition language in July. The language states that “on February 7, 2023,” Commissioners Barron, Moyle, and Petersen “voted to terminate administrator Emily DeSalvo’s employment contract.” The Citizens for Ethical Leadership believe DeSalvo’s firing was “unjust.”
Petitioners for District 3 and District 4 must collect the necessary signatures by October 8 to get the recall on the May 2024 ballot.
“We believe that our leaders at our county commission need to have integrity, honesty, and transparency,” said Van Ginhoven. “We don’t feel like we’re getting that right now from our three county commissioners—Barron, Moyle, and Petersen—so we look forward to the recall coming in May.”
Van Ginhoven previously told WZMQ 19 that if the recall is on the ballot, she plans to run for Commissioner Moyle’s position.
Petitioners from Petersen’s district began collecting signatures for the first time on Labor Day. Van Gin Hoven says during the signing event, the District 5 petition reached 10% of its goal. Van Gin Hoven says District 5 has until November to reach 100%.
In an interview with WZMQ 19 News at the beginning of the recall effort, Commissioner Moyle said, “I treat the public the same way I always have and I do my job the same way I always have, so for me, it’s business as usual. If the public accepts this, then I will leave graciously. I’m assuming the pubic won’t, but the public giveth and the public taketh away, so it’s not for me to say.”
Click here for WZMQ 19’s most recent story on the recall effort.