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Language on recall petition approved

By Judy Reed

Mayor Charlie Watson

Petition language to recall Mayor Charlie Watson from his City Council position was approved Wednesday morning, October 10, by the Kent County Elections Commission.

The language, filed by Cedar Springs resident Molly Nixon, reads: “Failure to reach an agreement with the Red Flannel Festival regarding the city’s use of their logos. Rejecting an offer to keep using the logos for $4,000 per year of in-kind services. Causing the city’s legal bill alone for this matter to top $6,000, which is more than if we had just kept using the logos.”

According to Kent County Elections Director Sue DeStiguer, the language is valid for 180 days. The burden now lies on petitioner Molly Nixon to get the required 170 signatures to put it on the ballot for a vote.

DeStiguer said that if the petitioner gets the signatures before the 180 days expires, the signatures would need to be verified as eligible voters, and then it could be put on the ballot for one of the four election days held each year: February, May, August and November.

Watson is not being recalled from his Mayor position, because his constituents do not vote him in as Mayor. The City Council appoints that position. Instead, he is being recalled as a City Councilor.

Watson is only one of six City Councilors who voted to no longer use the logo when faced with a possible lawsuit from the Red Flannel Festival. But he is the only one facing recall. Watson has said he does not plan to run again when his term is up in November 2013, and he does not plan to accept another appointment as Mayor next month.

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