Royce recall effort falls short of signature goal

Insufficient number of valid signatures, form error found after review

CENTREVILLE — An effort to recall White Pigeon’s village president has reportedly fell short of its petition signature goal.

In a determination filed Wednesday, St. Joseph County Clerk Lindsay Oswald stated that there were an insufficient number of valid petition signatures to move forward with putting a recall of White Pigeon Village President Tyler Royce on the general election ballot this November.

According to the determination released by the clerk’s office, of the 126 signatures filed by petitioners on Aug. 3, 21 were invalid, leaving only 105 valid signatures. 108 signatures were needed to put a recall measure on the ballot.

Of the invalid signatures, 12 were removed due to an error on one of the petition forms, where no reasoning for the petition was written in the heading.

Outside of the form error, five signatures were removed for not being in jurisdiction, two were removed for having an address that appeared to be written by someone other than the signer, one was removed due to having a date that appeared to be written by someone other than the signer, and another was removed due to only having a printed name and no signature.

Oswald said in an email Tuesday there is not a process indicated in Michigan’s election laws, specifically Chapter XXXVI of Public Act 116 of 1954, which governs recall efforts, for appealing the determination.

Wednesday’s determination puts a halt to the recall effort, started by local resident and businessman Jerry Kash back in June. The recall petition claimed Royce was “using village equipment and employees to do personal work outside of [the] village” back in May. Royce denied using village employees in an interview shortly after the petition language was filed, but confirmed that he “did borrow a piece of equipment,” a village-owned vacuum trailer to repair a sign in a local subdivision.

Kash declined comment on the determination Wednesday, noting he would be talking with his lawyers. Royce said in an interview Wednesday the result was “the outcome [he] expected,” and that he looks forward to the next couple years and “keeping things going in the direction they’re going.”

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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