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BAS recall petition language rejected

It was another setback Friday morning on a petition effort filed by a Brighton woman to recall two members of the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education.

It was the second attempt by area attorney Sarah Cross to have the Livingston County Election Commission approve the language on a petition that would seek the removal of trustees John Conely and Bill Trombley.

However, on a 2-1 vote, the Conely petition was rejected by the panel. County Clerk Betsy Hundley and County Treasurer Jennifer Nash voted against it, while Probate Court Judge Miriam Cavanaugh was the lone vote in favor.

Cross tells GIGO News that while Hundley and Nash specifically took issue with the phrase “sent this email” as being unclear and confusing, she plans to appeal that decision to Livingston County Circuit Court.

Friday’s petition sought Conely’s ouster based on his language in an email to a former district employee who asked that he vote in favor of a mask mandate for students in the district to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In that email, Conely stated “You mean like Hitler did? Mandates, we don’t have laws to support them. We are not Socialists.”

That response prompted a rebuke from Carolyn Nornandin, the Regional Director the Anti-Defamation League of Michigan (ADL Michigan), said she was “deeply disturbed” by the statement which she said was “shameful” for “connecting current health policies during a pandemic, with an administration seeking to commit mass genocide of targeted groups”.

The Trombley petition, which stated that he failed to read the board packet prior to the September 27th meeting, did not advance due to a dating error. Cross immediately corrected that and resubmitted the it.

If either petition is eventually approved, a total of 5,472 signatures would then be required to be collected from registered voters within the BAS district. While the recall language would be valid for 180 days from the date of approval, the required signatures must be gathered within a 60 day timeframe.

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