By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — A short ballot will greet Taylor voters for the Nov. 8 general election. Two candidate choices must be made for the Taylor Public Schools Board of Education, and a “yes” or “no” will determine if Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand will be recalled from office.
For the school board, the four-year terms are expiring of Trustees James C. Lakatos and Richard Dodge. Taylor school board members are selected in staggered years: Current board President John Reilly and Treasurer Deborah Stellini were elected in 2008; Vice President Mary Moore and Secretary Linda Newsome in 2009. Following each election, officers are selected from among the board.
Six candidates are vying for the two seats: Lakatos is running for re-election, while Dodge is not seeking a second term after joining the board in 2007.
Challengers Ron Miller, Lisa Norris, Craig Raich, Todd Tumas and Bobby Masters are vying for a board seat along with Lakatos, a former board president.
Under the heading “City of Taylor Recall,” the ballot presents a question awaiting a “yes” or “no” vote: “Shall Jeffrey Lamarand be recalled from the Office of Mayor?”
The statement of reason provided by petition organizers states that, “on April 20, 2011 Mayor Lamarand terminated the employment of nine Taylor Police Officers.”
Petitions to recall Lamarand were spearheaded by a group known as Take Back Taylor, the members of which protested the city’s administration. Signature campaigns escalated in the wake of city layoffs.
The ballot includes Lamarand’s response to the recall question, which noted that nine Taylor police officers were called back to duty in July.
“I am committed to doing the job of Mayor without asking residents to raise taxes simply to cover the high salaries and premium healthcare costs of employees. Do you want the City’s history of overblown pensions to continue to dig into your pockets?”
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)