Township board junta overrules Chassell voters

In a move resembling the act of a Third World banana republic, the ruling junta in Chassell Township granted itself authority to nullify a vote by residents to remain in the Portage Lake library district, apparently because the result of the vote displeased it.

Chassell voters have spoken – and they have been ignored.

There are few if any acts a government body can commit that is a more serious violation in a democracy than willfully rejecting the results of a lawful election. Such actions border on a coup, an unauthorized government takeover.

With no legitimate justification or authority, these trustees are making their constituents vote on a referendum to disconnect from the library district all over again.

Exactly who’s in charge here? These officials are supposed to be serving the people. Yet here they are, defying a directive from a majority of their constituents by ignoring the result of a voter referendum. Since it is not taking orders from a majority of Chassell voters, it must be doing the bidding of some other group, a group that begrudges the general public access to knowledge and information.

Given the example Congress is setting by playing out President Obama’s second turn by refusing to vote on confirming a Supreme Court appointment and waiting for a better opportunity to abolish the national health-care system, the cabal on the Chassell Township Board is following that strategy.

So voters will be forced to do the whole thing over, for no apparent reason other than the board did not agree with the first result. Under state law, voters don’t have any choice but to accept this nullification and reaffirm their position in November. Maybe that law should change. And maybe Chassell residents should show up in force at the board’s Sept. 14 meeting at 7 p.m. in the Chassell Fire Hall to demand an explanation.

Chassell voters do have one recourse left to them that will settle things once and for all: On behalf of themselves, their neighbors and the taxpayers of Houghton County, they can remove these bad-faith trustees from office. That election result will stand.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial


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