Proposal to dissolve village will appear on ballot

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Calumet Village President Dave Geisler received word from the township that the petition to dissolve the village contains enough valid signatures to appear on the November ballot.

CALUMET — The petition to dissolve the village of Calumet has the required number of valid signatures to appear on the November ballot as a proposal, according the Charter Township of Calumet.

In a letter addressed to Village President Dave Geisler from the township office dated June 6, 2018, Geisler was informed that the petition filed by village residents Nathan Anderson, Barbara Yannetta and Trustee Peggy Germain contained not less that 15 percent of the registered voters of the village, the legally required minimum to have the proposal appear on the ballot.

“Seventy-six voter signatures were required for the petition, and we have approximately 100,” Anderson said. “The number is based on 15 percent of the registered voters in the village. I talked to a lot of people. I’ve got 17 pages of signatures within the village. I’ve probably talked to as many people in the whole township in the course of the whole campaign. It’s like 98 out of 100 would be in agreement that we should be one entity.”

Anderson said one of the many reasons for the proposal is the failure of the council to ever address the need for a more unified government, which is a result of a few unwilling to step up to the challenge.

“This petition is a blessing from Michigan’s Constitution,” Anderson said. “When the government fails to look out for the people’s best interest, those people can take it into their own hands by showing up, getting involved and voting.”

Anderson said the township has been generally silent on the issue of the village’s proposed dissolution.

“I’ve let everybody know, every organization I’ve come into contact with, and they know that this has been going on for about nine months now,” he said. “I’ve expressed to them that this is going to happen. I mean, not just by people in the village, but this has got wide-spread support in the township.”

The Daily Mining Gazette learned from the Houghton County Clerk’s Office that the township will seek legal counsel to determine how to proceed. There is also a question of whether, since the form used for the petitions was created by the petitioner, if it counts as a legal state form.