By Robert Tomlinson
WHITE PIGEON TWP. — The entire White Pigeon Township board could soon be facing possible recall efforts.
The St. Joseph County Election Commission will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 13 at 9 a.m. at the commission room in the Historic Courthouse building to consider recall language against White Pigeon Township Supervisor Don Gloy and Township Treasurer Trudy Gloy, and will hold a second hearing on Wednesday, July 26 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom B of the St. Joseph County Courthouse to consider recall language against Township Clerk Lacie Pletcher and trustees Jean Tefft and Vincent Schroen.
All but one of the petitions was filed by White Pigeon Township resident Anita Casada; the petition against Pletcher was filed by resident Gayle Van Singel.
The filings come after a first round of recall language was rejected during a hearing before the commission on June 27. As previously reported by the Commercial-News, the original petitions, which targeted the recalls of both Gloys, Tefft and Schroen, were found by the commission to have lacked sufficient clarity, focusing on certain adjectives in the petitions, such as “adequate” and “inappropriate,” noting they were not clear enough.
According to the new petition against Don Gloy, it states the reason for recall as Gloy not taking advantage of requesting funding from the county’s $1 million allocation of American Rescue Plan funding, claiming he “did not submit an application and White Pigeon Township was excluded from receiving any of the funds.” The reasoning was one of four reasons present on the original recall petition.
The charge against Trudy Gloy, according to the petition, has to do with an alleged ethics violation. At the Aug. 3, 2022 board meeting, according to the petition, she voted to approve a township ordinance, known as Ordinance 97, to allow for construction of a storage building on a vacant lot she had allegedly purchased a week prior, something prohibited prior to the vote. Following the vote, according to the petition, a building permit was issued and construction of a storage building was started.
The petitions against Pletcher, Tefft and Schroen have to do with a vote to approve the township’s Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget, despite the petitioner’s claims that the budget was “not made available for public inspection” prior to the township’s budget hearing on June 6, where the vote was made.
The Commercial-News reached out to White Pigeon Township’s attorney, Lance Thornton, for comment on the new recall efforts, but did not respond prior to publication.
Prior to the first recall effort in June, Don Gloy said in a written statement through Thornton that over the past 30 years as supervisor, he has “had and still [has] the privilege of serving with many talented and caring individuals who serve as Township officers, employees, board members, and volunteers,” and is “comfortable” that the township’s accomplishments in his tenure, his part in them, and his reputation would “stand in contrast to the false accusations contained in the Recall Petition.”
This will be the third time in the last year an effort in the White Pigeon area will take place before the Election Commission to potentially recall an official, following the first try with the White Pigeon Township board, and the failed recall effort of White Pigeon Village President Tyler Royce in 2022.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.