TRAVERSE CITY — A Grand Traverse County judge ruled the petition to recall two Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education trustees is no good.

Judge Kevin Elsenheimer, of the 13th Circuit Court, determined Tuesday the recall petitions filed against TCAPS Board Treasurer Matt Anderson and TCAPS Board Secretary Pam Forton were filed too soon. State law mandates that no elected official serving a four-year term can be recalled during the first or last year of his or her term.

Both Anderson and Forton just eclipsed the first year of their four-year terms on Dec. 31, 2019. The petition to recall them was filed Nov. 8, which Elsenheimer said was inappropriate and not timely under the lockout provision — resulting in voiding the petition in full.

Before making that determination, however, Elsenheimer ruled the language in the petition, which was under appeal by Forton and Anderson as not being clear and factual, was a "sufficiently clear statement" and therefore acceptable.

Justin Van Rheenen, the recall petitioner, said he would consult with his legal counsel but did intend to refile either Monday or sometime this week.

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