Ballot language approved, recall remains in doubt

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — An attempt to recall Taylor City Council Chair Cheryl Burke cleared its first legal hurdle last week. The Wayne County Elections Commission approved on Monday ballot language as submitted by Charley Johnson and a group known as “Take Back Taylor.”

Johnson and his colleagues were behind the failed recall attempt last month of Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand. After collecting the required number of signatures through last summer and fall, the recall question failed on the general election ballot to win the support of voters. It was the second attempt to recall Lamarand after a 2010 campaign failed to garner enough signatures.

Burke was likewise subjected to a recall attempt last year, as was City Council Chair Pro-Tem Jill Brandana.

Johnson said Burke cast a vote two months ago related to litigation from which she should have abstained, and subsequently had the official minutes altered.

Ballot language approved last week read: “On October 4 2011 Cheryl Burke voted in favor of a motion to approve making an offer of judgement for claim #P615-09-00015 as presented and recommended by risk management committee.”

Burke dismissed the attempt, noting that she was not at the meeting in question. Further, Burke wondered how Johnson or anyone outside of the meeting obtained information from a closed-door session.

Johnson and his supporters were uncertain if they would proceed with the recall attempt and begin soliciting signatures. If successful, a special election might be needed to address the recall attempt, which would cost the cash-strapped city.

Johnson, a former city employee who was laid off due to budget reductions, did not respond by press time to comment on plans for the recall.

(James Mitchell can be reached at