TRAVERSE CITY — The appeals of two Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education members regarding a petition to recall them will be heard Monday.
TCAPS Treasurer Matt Anderson and Secretary Pam Forton will appear before Judge Thomas Power in the 13th Circuit Court at 2:30 p.m. to present oral arguments to support their contention that recall petition language levied against them doesn’t meet standards by being “clear and factual.”
Forton had no comment ahead of the hearing, but Anderson said he is ready to state his case.
“This has been a long, drawn-out process. I’m looking forward to hopefully moving forward from this and getting back to doing the work for the district and the community,” Anderson said.
Both Forton and Anderson argue the language on the recall, specifically the use of the word “terminate,” is incorrect. The appeals state Anderson and Forton never voted to terminate Cardon’s contract, but instead authorized Kelly to sign a separation agreement with Cardon.
In addition, Anderson’s appeal claims the petition violates state law because it was filed before Anderson completed a year in office. His term began Jan. 1, although he’d served previously as an interim board member for 4 months.
Forton’s appeal states the recall effort “creates a grave and unacceptable risk of misleading the voters.”
A ruling against Forton and Anderson would allow the petitioners to start gathering the 11,633 necessary signatures needed to force a recall election. A ruling in favor of Forton and Anderson would send the petitioners back to the drawing board.
TCAPS Board President Sue Kelly also has an appeal before the 13th Circuit Court, but hers will be heard in Leelanau County instead of Grand Traverse and is slated for Feb. 3.
“I was kind of thinking that they might even combine them because it’s the same judge, but they didn’t appear to,” Kelly said. “I hope he (Judge Power) reads my appeal before he goes into the hearing with Pam and Matt. I think I have different points.”
Although the Leelanau County Election Commission approved the recall language against Kelly by a 2-1 vote, Kelly said she was encouraged by Judge Marian Kromkowski’s no vote and explanation that the language was not clear and taken out of context.
Kelly’s hearing is set for 10:30 a.m.