The organizer of a recall effort against two members of the Brighton school board says they are making a final push this weekend to collect signatures.
Sarah Cross estimates she has about 75% of the 5,500 signatures needed to recall Trustees John Conely and Bill Trombley. She says anyone who has not had a chance to sign, can do so at several locations over the weekend. The deadline to turn in the signatures is July 7.
She will be at the Brighton Coffeehouse and Theater (BCAT) from 6-8 Friday night, at the Millpond Saturday from 8-10pm and then the BCAT again on Sunday from 8-10pm as well as at the 4th of July parade in Brighton on Monday.
“There is still time to sign,” said Cross. “Unfortunately, many people have expressed that they are scared to sign because they are afraid of being harassed for supporting the recall. I think that’s the exact reason this recall petition is so important. It’s time that we send a very strong message in our community that this is a community that values civility and open dialogue. When we fail to take action because we are scared of school board members and their supporters we are allowing this type of harassment to continue. It’s more important than ever to push back against repression and to get involved in our local government. That starts with school boards.”
The petition seeking Conely’s ouster is 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”.
Trombley’s petition alleges he failed to read the board packet prior to the September 27th meeting.
Conely and Trombley have repeatedly declined to respond to offers for comment.