By Pat Maurer
The supervisor and clerk of Redding Township are facing recall elections in February, unless a special election is scheduled.
The petitions to recall Supervisor Michael Trzcienski and Clerk Autumn Scarbrough were authored by former Township Clerk Jim Zarembo, who resigned in June 2010.
Zarembo said 89 signatures have been collected on petitions to recall Trzcienski. Thirty-five are needed based on the 2008 election. He said the petitions will be submitted to Clare County Clerk Pamela Mayfield this week.
Petitions to recall Scarbrough with 65 signatures have already been turned in to the County Clerk, Zarembo said. He said those signatures have been approved.
Wording on the recall petition for Trzcienski says, “Mr. Trazcienski failed to appoint Board of Review members for the 2011-2012 years, violating Michigan Tax Law.”
“He continued to hold Board of Review meetings without properly seated board members,” said Zarembo in a telephone interview Monday. “There is supposed to be three members. He has two unconfirmed (by the board) members.”
Trzcienski didn’t dispute the fact that there were only two members of the Board of Review and they had not been approved by the board. “He (Zarembo) keeps filing recall petitions,” Trzcienski said Tuesday. “He holds the record for recall attempts I think. This is the seventh time he has submitted wording for recall petition against me and the fifth time against Autumn. People need to know that the wording doesn’t have to be true, it just has to be clear and concise.”
He said Zarembo was forced to resign as Clerk in 2010 because he was convicted of a felony, an embezzlement charge related to a pool league in Osceola County. “He (Zarembo) has accused me of spreading rumours about him, but it’s a matter of public record,” Trzcienski said. “Anyone convicted of a felony can’t hold public office.”
Zarembo is currently on probation after pleading guilty to embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 on a October, 2009 charge. He was sentenced July 23, 2010 to two years probation.
Trzcienski went on, “I don’t know what his problem is with me. I don’t feel I’ve done anything wrong. I have contacted the State about the Board of Review problem. I did have three members, but one resigned in the spring. When they were first appointed I didn’t know I needed board approval. I would like to get another member but haven’t been able to find anyone willing to serve – and the township board doesn’t like any of my choices. They won’t approve of any of the members on the Board of Review.”
He said, “I’m frustrated, but I won’t resign.”
Wording on the recall petition against Scarbrough says, “She has violated the ‘Open Meetings Act.’ She takes incomplete township meeting minutes and refuses to correct them. Ms. Scarbrough is unavailable by any means, to residents. She refuses to share/provide reports to the township board.”
Scarbrough was appointed in 2010 as clerk. “She is totally unavailable to contact,” said Zarembo.”She will not return calls, keeps incomplete meeting minutes, doesn’t correct minutes and refuses to provide required reports to the board. I’ve received numerous complaints about her.”
Scarbrough said Wednesday, “I think it’s petty, low and underhanded. I don’t understand how I could have violated the Open Meetings Act – I’ve been criticized for taking too detailed minutes rather than not enough. And, when I adjust them, it is always wrong. This is extremely childish. I do correct the minutes. How can he (Zarembo) make that claim? As far as I know he has never even checked the corrected minutes that are in the township book.”
She continued, “As to my being unavailable, that’s very, very false. Residents have to call to reach me. I always get my phone calls and take care of my messages. How is that being unavailable?”
Regarding reports, she said, “I make sure that all board members have copies of every report. This has been going on for weeks. He drives by my house daily. I don’t know why.”
She called the other board members, except for the Supervisor, “hostile.”