ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – The final petition supporting the recall of one of three Delta County Commissioners has been completed and submitted.
The Delta County Citizens for Ethical Leadership are calling for County Commissioners David Moyle, Bob Barron, and Robert Petersen to be removed from the board. The petitions for Moyle’s district and Barron’s district were submitted earlier this fall.
Circulators in Petersen’s district (District #5) turned in 124 pages of signatures to the Delta County Clerk on November 2. The group needed a minimum of 775 signatures and submitted 953.
“We’re very proud of our community,” said Citizens for Ethical Leadership member Stephen Benoit. “I don’t think in the country, at this point, we’ve seen a greater probably bipartisan group of people come together for their community and say that we want a positive change.”
Petersen now has the opportunity to review and challenge any of the signatures.
“We are looking at the signatures and we’re going to go through and see if everything’s kosher,” said Petersen. “If it is, then it is. If it’s not, we’re going to fight it. I will tell you, the language that was used on the petition is not what the general public has been hearing. The verbage for the petition was that we fired the administrator, which is not unethical, unusual, or uncommon to have happen.”
Benoit says circulators were careful to ensure each signature would be considered valid.
“We had a group of people that were auditing all of our signatures, looking at anything that was a concern,” he said. “We went back out and asked people to re-sign if needed, and they were more than willing to re-sign if we felt like there might have been a concern with how the address looked or if there was a discrepancy with how they signed.”
Petersen believes there is an issue with the way the petitions were circulated.
“There’s been a lot of falsehoods and outright lies put out about us,” he said. “There was a flyer handed out with at least my petitions that has ten statements on it that, for the most part, are incorrect. It’s not fair to the people that are voting; it’s not fair to the people that signed that petition.”
Benoit says that is incorrect.
“I was made aware of a sheet that they had obtained, but that was not put out by anybody in District 5,” said Benoit. “We did have a sheet of paper that we did hand out. On that paper, it said what the language was at the top of the recall. We also had on our handout a QR code where people could get a link to the YouTube channel for the meetings so they could look at those and educate themselves, but there was nothing else. At no time were we asking anybody to sign anything besides the language that was approved by the courts.”
At least 775 signatures must now be verified by Delta County Clerk Nancy Przewrocki. Moyle’s recall has been confirmed for the May 2024 ballot.