August 15, 2017

Petitions approved for commissioner recall effort

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Efforts to recall three McKenzie County commissioners progressed last Thursday when Secretary of State Al Jaeger approved the sponsoring committee’s petitions.
The Badlands Recall Committee now requires about 1,148 signatures to respectively recall commissioners Vawnita Best, Douglas Nordby and Gene Veeder.
Brooks Kummer, who chairs the five-person committee, said the group and its supporters take issue largely with the commissioners’ appointments to vacant county offices and certain decisions like the attempted removal of Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger.
Officially, the group’s petitions outline four reasons, including the sheriff removal effort, “failure” to  consider or engage public input on vacant county offices, “the use of public funds” and “failure to consider public opinion or engage with the public on the local zoning changes and other decisions ...”
“There are a lot of people in the county that are upset with what’s been happening in the county,” Kummer said, adding that the commissioners have “just taken it upon themselves to appoint too many yes people and not the right people.”
He also addressed the perceived conflict with three county officials in one family: State’s Attorney Chas Neff Jr. married to Auditor/Treasurer Erica Johnsrud, daughter of Recorder Ann Johnsrud.

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