Recall organizer Lori Brock filed petition signatures against Green Charter Township Supervisor James Chapman Monday, hoping to oust him from office for his role in pushing a Chinese Communist Party-linked battery plant that has received strong resistance from the community.
Chapman has claimed “90 percent” of residents of the small township backs his plan to bring a roughly 1-square mile factory operated by China-based Gotion High-Tech to the farming community. But 630 residents signed petitions to recall Chapman, a group leader told The Midwesterner. By comparison, 1,921 residents voted in the 2020 general election.
Organizers were required to obtain 417 valid signatures. The 630 they submitted will now be evaluated and accepted, likely triggering the recall action. They were collected in just three weeks, the leader said.
“Dedicated canvassers have been key to this overwhelming success,” the leader told The Midwesterner.
The filing comes after signatures were also submitted against the entire board, including Clerk Janet Clark and Treasurer Denise MacFarlane, as well as trustees James Peek, Gary Todd, Dale Jernstadt, and Roger Carroll. Those signatures are awaiting approval. Peek has since resigned and was replaced at the July monthly meeting. His successor will not face the recall.
“We are geeked. We are just nobodys all thrown together, found a common cause, and the teams have just really taken this and run with it,” Mary Engelsman, one of the Mecosta County residents working on the recall effort, previously told The Midwesterner, adding it is a “David-and-Goliath kind of thing.”
“This is very important. We’ve not had a say in this Gotion thing. This has been shoved down our throats from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on down so it’s important for people to be able to vote and have a say,” she added.
If organizers collect a sufficient number of valid signatures, a recall vote would be held likely in November. The incumbents would square off against challengers in a special election.