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Recall filed for Sand Lake Village president

By Judy Reed

A petition has been filed and signatures are being gathered to recall Mollie Doerr, the president of the Village of Sand Lake.

Doerr is the fourth person on the current Village Council to have a recall petition filed against her. The first was former trustee Rachel Gokey, who was voted out of office in early November. It was Gokey’s husband, Jeff Gokey, who filed the recall petition against president Mollie Doerr.

According to the petition, which was filed on September 29, 2021, Gokey’s reason for the petition to recall was filed because: “President Doerr violated the provisions of the Michigan election law by signing a recall petition for a trustee twice. First on July 26, 2021 as Mollie Doerr and again on July 28, 2021 as Mollie McClellan. Both signatures were rejected by Kent County.”

McClellan is Doerr’s maiden name. She was married last fall.

The language of the petition was approved in October. Doerr did not appeal.

Those circulating the petition for her recall must collect 48 signatures to get it on the ballot in May. Doerr’s term will be up in November 2022. If enough signatures are gathered to get it on the ballot, Doerr would need to run for her position.

The Post contacted Kent County Elections Director Gerrid Uzarski regarding the matter. We asked him whether you can ever remove a signature once it’s been placed on a petition and asked why both signatures would have been rejected.

“Once signatures are filed on petitions, they cannot be changed/altered,” explained Uzarski. “When an elector signs a petition twice for a single position, this is illegal. When this happens, both instances (or all instances) are disqualified.”

This means that if you signed it improperly, you cannot change it, or sign the petition again correctly.

The Post asked Doerr for a comment, but Doerr does not have a statement ready to make to the public at this time.

Rachel Gokey’s recall petition was filed by Jack Christiansen. His reasoning was that she did not sign the Village Council’s social media policy. He then ran against her in the fall election and won.

The other two that had recall petitions filed against them are Marcia Helton and Stacie Rudicil. The petitions were filed by former trustee Glen Baker, who was voted out of office in November 2020. His reasons listed for filing the petitions, however, were misleading. For Helton, he claimed she paid over $87,000 to the Kent County Drain Commission on a special assessment after the council voted in January to do it on a 10-year plan to manage its cash flow. What he didn’t say was that she actually paid the bill in February, after the council voted to pay it in full to save $15,000 in interest for the taxpayers. 

His reasoning for filing a petition against Rudicil was that she voted to terminate the DPW supervisor. The entire board voted to terminate him, with exception of Gokey, who voted no.

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