SCOTT HEWITT (seated), a longtime teacher and current school administrator who was born and raised in Chesaning and has lived in the village for 45 years, is among a group of village residents who are collecting signatures to recall Chesaning Village President Joseph Sedlar. The group was formed following a Tuesday, July 2 meeting of the Chesaning Village Council, during which the council voted, 5-2, to terminate Police Chief Stacey Wilburn, who has been the village’s full-time police chief since August of 2017.
Voting for Wilburn’s removal, on the grounds that she violated the Chesaning Police Department’s Policies and Procedures regarding attendance and absenteeism control, were council members Keith Wenzel, Phil Larner, Danielle Chludil and Tina Powell, in addition to Village President Sedlar. Opposing the termination were council members Matthew Hoover, Chesaning’s president pro-tem, and Mike Cicalo.
The ballot language for the recall was approved in Saginaw County on Monday, July 29, giving the group five days to collect the 241 signatures necessary to have the issue placed on the village’s November 2019 election ballot. Sedlar filed a claim of appeal on the same day, which, after review was deemed deficient, on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
The deadline to submit ballot language for the Nov. 5, 2019 election was Aug. 2, and since signatures could not legally be collected while the recall petition was being appealed, Hewitt and the rest of Chief Wilburn’s supporters were unable to collect signatures until after Aug. 14.
Although the deadline to submit their signatures has passed, the “Support Chief Stacey” group spent the week of Monday, Aug. 26 through Friday, Aug. 30 collecting signatures, with plans to turn in the recall petition before 5 p.m. on Aug. 30. The Saginaw County Election Board could turn down the petition, which Hewitt expected, but the group hopes Circuit Court Judge Andre Borrello grants relief due to the extenuating circumstance of Sedlar’s appeal.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)