Petition Filed To Recall Two BAS Board Members
January 26, 2022
By Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
A petition has been submitted to recall two members of the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education.
The proposed petition was filed Tuesday with the Livingston County Clerk’s Office by Genoa Township resident Sarah Cross seeking to recall BAS Trustees John Conely and Bill Trombley.
According to Cross, the petition cites two reasons to recall Conely; for comparing efforts in support of a mask mandate in schools to the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler and for presenting a slide show at a December board meeting “created with the help of outside group and failed to disclose or acknowledge what group created the slideshow.”
The language for Trombley’s proposed recall cites three actions he allegedly took at a September board meeting, including accusing three members of the Board of “intentionally hiding policy changes and trying to sneak policy changes past the Board,” admitting that he did not read Board Packets “and therefore was not prepared for Board Meetings” and coughing on an audience member as he exited the meeting.
Cross tells WHMI that her reason for filing the petition was not about “current positions on science, the pandemic, or appropriate mitigation measures,” but instead on the behavior of Conley and Trombley in their capacity as elected officials, which she called “a despicable course of conduct that is unfitting of the offices they hold.” Cross added that she believes "School Board Members are role models in the community they serve and since they are in a position of power and influence, they need to treat employees, fellow Board members, and the community with respect and dignity and guarantee our access to the democratic process and the right to speak about issues that are important to us.”
Cross further said that she hopes the petition will "shine a light on some of the poor conduct of Board members and to send a message to the community that Brighton is a place that is safe, accepting, and intolerant of bigotry and hatred. I want people to know that there are good people in this community who disavow the egregious conduct of Conely and Trombley. People who believe that all members of the community should experience dignified, respectful access to public bodies like the School Board without being insulted, threatened, or treated in an otherwise disrespectful manner."
Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley confirmed receipt of the recall petitions and said the County Election Commission will meet February 8th at 1:30pm in the Historic Courthouse in Howell.
“If the language is deemed factual and sufficiently clear,” stated Hundley, “5,472 signatures from registered voters within the BAS district must be collected. The recall language is valid for 180 days from the date the language is approved by the Election Commission. However, signatures on a petition form are valid for 60 days. Signatures older than 60 days before filing the petition form with the County Clerk are invalid.”
Hundley also said they have updated their website to include information about recalls and the County Election Commission.