By TOM TIGANI
Sunday Times Newspaper
TAYLOR — Efforts to recall Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand were renewed last week after briefly being sidelined.
City employee Charley Johnson on Monday filed a petition targeting the mayor with the Wayne County Election Commission after a previous petition lapsed because people collecting the signatures necessary to get it on the ballot failed to do so by Sept. 8. In addition to Lamarand, the group also had been seeking to recall Councilwomen Jill Brandana and Cheryl Burke.
The commission has set a hearing date of Oct. 20 to approve language in the latest petition. Election attorney Gene Farber will represent recall organizers, which include the creators of Website takebacktaylor.net. A post on the site thanked the 5,300 people it said signed the original petitions.
A separate recall drive, targeting Councilwomen Jacklyn Molner and Suzanne Weycker and Councilmen John Delo and Dennis Stapleton, also fizzled last month after failing to gather the signatures needed within the 90-day time limit allotted. Councilman Rick Sollars was the only member of the council not facing a recall.
Nancy Stawiarski, who filed the first paperwork aimed at Brandana, Burke and Lamarand, said organizers “did well” in collecting signatures, but stopped their effort after police Cpl. Matthew Edwards and auxiliary police Lt. Dan Kromer were killed on the job within a span of a few weeks.
“We kind of just put everything on the back burner and felt funny with so much going on,” she said, adding that enough time now has passed for her group to resume its efforts.
Plans eventually call for group members to revisit everyone who originally signed the petition against Lamarand and get them to re-sign, Stawiarski said.
Each recall petition must be signed by 25 percent of registered city voters who voted in the last state election. In Taylor, that translates to approximately 4,800 signatures for each recall target.
Echoing a post on takebacktaylor.net, Stawiarski said while Monday’s petition names only Lamarand, renewed efforts to recall Brandana and Burke are forthcoming. Stawiarski said she anticipates no problems rounding up the necessary signatures for all three when the time comes.
“Getting the signatures was time consuming, but it was very easy,” she said, adding that signers will be revisited by petitioners, who already are calling to set appointments.
Stawiarski said while some have said the renewed effort is insensitive in light of the police officers’ deaths, the city has real problems that must be addressed.
“It is the right thing to do for the city of Taylor,” she said. “A lot of people say we’re spreading hate, but that’s not true.”
According to published reports, organizers of the recall for Delo, Molner, Stapleton and Weycker had gathered approximately 2,500 signatures for each council person they were seeking to recall before running into logistical difficulties. Members of that group have said their Website, www.taylortruth.com, should be in operation soon, and that they will continue to be active in city politics.