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Group begins recall petition drive against notorious Kalkaska village president

Kaye LaFond
Michigan Radio

A group called Kalkaska for Peace will begin collecting signatures on Saturday to try to force a recall election of its notorious village president, Jeff Sieting.

Sieting's Facebook posts, which contain violent rhetoric against Muslims and other marginalized groups, have attracted national attention.  

Recall organizer Elizabeth Dunham says Sieting doesn't represent the views of most people who live in the small village of about 2,000 people - nor those in the region.

"Our village is the county seat, so it shares the same name (Kalkaska)," says Dunham.  "So the entire community received a very horrible reputation from this."

Dunham says she is confident the recall petition drive will succeed.  The group must collect a minimum of 166 valid signatures, and is aiming for more than 100 signatures above that.

Elizabeth Dunham
Credit Kalkaska for Peace
Kalkaska for Peace
Elizabeth Dunham, Chair of the bipartisan community group Kalkaska for Peace

"We went door to door this past summer and questioned people if they would support a recall or not and the answer was overwhelmingly yes, that people would," she says.

Dunham says about a dozen people have volunteered to collect signatures.  

She says a number of people have also expressed interesting in running for village president in the recall election if the petition drive succeeds in getting it on the ballot.  
Sieting did not respond to a request for comment about the recall effort. 
But he says on Facebook that the recall organizers are "cowards of a vile nature."  

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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