Michigamme Township clerk resigns, recall taken off November ballot

He submitted a letter of resignation in August, saying his last day as Michigamme Township’s clerk will be Oct. 1.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:24 PM EDT
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MICHIGAMME, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigamme Township voters will not see a recall on the ballot in November.

The Michigamme Township Board voted 3-2 at Monday’s meeting to accept Michigamme Township Clerk Neil Hanson’s resignation, effectively removing language to recall Hanson from the November ballot.

In July, Johnnie Hillis filed a recall petition against Michigamme Township Clerk Neil Hanson. Hillis claimed Hanson relinquished his powers to the township supervisor, had been neglecting his duties, had not been responsive to calls or emails and did not attend enough meetings.

Hanson agreed that health problems affected his work. He resigned in August, saying his last day as Michigamme Township’s clerk would be Oct. 1.

For this reason, Marquette County Clerk Linda Talsma removed language to recall Hanson from the November ballot.

The Michigamme Township Board originally held a meeting on Sept. 11 to accept his resignation, but the vote failed 2-2. Hanson did not vote.

The board members who voted against accepting Hanson’s resignation said they did so because he was given ten days to resign after the recall language was filed, but he waited more than a month to officially resign.

These board members also said they wanted to keep his recall on the ballot and let voters decide who should take over.

“I wanted the residents to able to vote,” said Kay Frisk, Michigamme Township trustee. “I don’t understand why the recall went into effect and there was a ten-day time frame that it could’ve been dropped if [he resigned], and that was not done.”

Per Michigan law, the next step is for the Michigamme Township Board to find and appoint a new clerk.

The board scheduled a special meeting for Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. to discuss who will fill Hanson’s seat.

If the position is vacant for 45 days, there will be a special election where voters will decide the next township clerk.