The Emmet Charter Township Board is being brought into the public eye, as petitions are being filed for the recall of the township supervisor and a trustee.

A petition to recall trustee Jim Mead was filed with the Calhoun County clerk last Wednesday. Mead is currently serving a four-year term that extends to November 2024. The petition claims that Mead is counterproductive, continues to undermine the board’s intent, hinders township business, and has a tendency to break board confidentiality.

In response to the allegations, a second recall petition was filed on Friday, claiming township supervisor Deb Belles is unfit for office. Some alleged examples of her conduct include hiring a convicted felon as a code enforcement officer for the township, and she was given 25 Chick-Fil-A “Local Hero” gift cards, valued at $11,154, that were intended for public safety officers, and instead given to whomever she deemed fit. Only eight of the 25 cards were given to public safety officers, and Belles allegedly refuses to account for the remaining 17 cards.

Added to the list, she is also accused of hiring a zoning administrator without township board approval, which is in violation of a zoning ordinance, and she allegedly uses bullying, intimidation, and intimidation, and verbal abuse as a management style.

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The County Election Commission is conducting a hearing on January 18, to review the charges and make a decision on the approval of the petitions. During the hearing, the petitioners, along with Mead and Belles, will have the opportunity to share their concerns with the Election Commission.  

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