MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — The only other time in recent memory a school board member in Marquette County faced the possibility of recall was in 2013, according to the County Clerk.
We asked the Clerk when, if ever, a local school board member has been recalled. From all records since 2002, only one recall petition was filed. That happened in 2013, where Leeza Misterly sought to recall Gwinn Area School Board members Ronald Libey, Gloria Bigelow, Michelle Dolby and Cindy Filizetti. The petition wording was the same for each member:
This member should be recalled for malfeasance and/or nonfeasance in the duties incumbent upon a person elected to a Public School Board in the state of Michigan. This school board member breached his/her fiduciary duty by failing to become properly informed on issues concerning the school district prior to voting on said issue resulting in the Gwinn Area Community Schools having a negative operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year and virtually no fund balance.
This school board member further breached his/her duty by failing to properly oversee the actions of the school’s administration, resulting in a financial crisis; poor or non-maintenance of buses, buildings and other school infrastructure; and a failure to institute a long term sustainable plan, adequately provide new text books and other learning aides for classrooms. For the welfare of the Gwinn Area Schools this member should be recalled.
The petition did not see one signature, dying at the hands of the Marquette County Election Commission, which rejected it based on its wording. Commission member and Chief Judge of Probate Cheryl Hill said the wording was clear, but also more opinionated than factual. The rest of the board agreed.
Misterly had the opportunity to appeal the decision, but if she did, the effort did not go far.
The commission meets on Sept. 1 to consider whether the wording of Jeremy Beerman’s petition is sufficient enough to collect signatures. Today the Clerk confirmed 3,867 signatures would then be needed to send the recall to the ballot.