Two Seneca Twp. trustees eyed for recall 10.21.09

Written by David Green.

A recall petition was filed last month at the Lenawee County clerk’s office seeking the removal of two Seneca Township officials.

Township resident Dayna Cordts filed the recall petition Sept. 24 in an effort to remove township clerk Allison Ott and treasurer Marie Meinke.

If Cordts obtains the signatures of 98 registered township voters on each petition by Nov. 20, a special election could be scheduled Feb. 23, 2010. The petition is valid for 180 days, explained county clerk Roxann Holloway, and an election could also be scheduled in May. The township will bear the cost of the election.

The recall petition alleges rude and disrespectful behavior shown by Ott and Meinke during the Sept. 14 township meeting. The petition also faults the pair for voting in favor of enforcing a special use permit for Cordts’s child care facility.

A special use permit was approved Aug. 3 by the township planning commission for Cordts to operate a child care facility in an area zoned for residential use.

Vague wording in the township zoning book has led to problems with the issue. The original permit issued September 2008 called for an enclosed area of at least 5,000 square feet inside a fence, as required in the zoning book.

However, Cordts pointed out the word “fence” is not used in the book in relation to child care centers. Instead, it calls for an area to be screened from adjacent lots.

Furthermore, Cordts claims the requirement does not apply to her property because her facility is designated   a day care group home (for seven to 12 children). The ordinance refers only to nursery schools, day nurseries and child care centers.

Because Cordts did not erect a fence by the June 1, 2009, deadline, her permit was voided and she applied again. The planning commission approved the permit and when it was issued to Cordts, it again included the fence requirement.

Planning commission chair Bob Walton said later he wasn’t aware that the second permit included a fence requirement.

This was followed by the 3-2 Sept. 14 vote to enforce the permit and to report Cordts to state licensing officials if she didn’t comply.

This action is also mentioned on the recall petition.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
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    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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