Kidwell recall effort faltering as organizers scramble for petition signaturesPublished 10:52pm Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It appears Niles Township Supervisor Jim Kidwell is safe from being recalled from office barring a furious last-minute effort by recall organizers.
Herschel Hoese, the township resident who filed the recall language against Kidwell in March, said in an interview Wednesday that he has gathered about 600 petition signatures. That leaves him about 300 shy of the amount needed for a recall item to be placed on the ballot at the end of the initial 90-day period.
He still has 60 days left of the remaining 90-day window to keep recall hopes alive. All signatures gathered in the first 90 days are no longer valid.
“It’s pretty much stalemated,” Hoese said. “It’s not over, but I’ll need some help.”
The recall effort was based on Kidwell distributing a news release to local media regarding an internal investigation of township Treasurer Jim Ringler that was discussed in a closed meeting. The investigation revealed Ringler had not violated any township policy, though.
Hoese’s petition asserted Kidwell “breached both the confidentiality of the township’s attorney-client privileged information of a closed session meeting … and the confidentiality of an employee’s right to a confidential investigation.”
Hoese said he started out with about eight people passing out petitions but several of them have dropped out of the effort.
“People are afraid to sign them and pass them (petitions). They’re afraid of retaliation,” he said. “I wish people were less passive when it comes to political issues. These are worthy issues that we’ve addressed.”
In a previous interview, Kidwell was critical of not only the recall effort against himself but the separate one targeting Ringler, Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt and Trustees Richard Cooper and Richard Noble.
“If it was up to me, there would be no recalls on anybody down here,” he said. “Why can’t they wait until 2012?”
Hoese said he is willing to do that if need be.
“If worse comes to worse, another year and a half and people will vote him out,” Hoese said. “I’m counting on people to rally.”
Tony Millin, who is spearheading the other recall effort, couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
Tags: Jim Kidwell