|Joyce Verplank Hatton|
By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com)
A recall hearing regarding Spring Lake Village President Joyce Verplank Hatton will take place Wednesday afternoon, and given the language that was filed, the Ottawa County Election Commission must reject it.
The recall was filed by Spring Lake business owner Michelle Hanks, who, along with her husband, owns Seven Steps Up.
The OCEC is comprised of Ottawa County Treasurer Brad Slagh, Judge Mark Feyen, and County Clerk Justin Roebuck.
Hanks opposes Hatton's 5 year crusade to disincorporate the village and merge with Spring Lake Township. Hatton says the fact that Village residents have to pay taxes to both entities is unfair.
Recall language is reviewed with two criteria in mind: whether or not the information is clear, and whether or not the information is factual. The Hatton recall fails on both counts.
First, it alleges that Hatton made "inappropriate comments" when she compared the growing police state in Spring Lake and across the country to what happened in Nazi Germany. (Spring Lake Village manager Chris Burns, at the same meeting, escaped scrutiny despite calling some SLV residents "rednecks.")
"Inappropriate" is subjective, it's an opinion, it is neither clear nor factual. That alone is enough to throw the recall out.
However, the 2nd portion is also problematic.
The argument that disincorporation poses a "significant cost" to taxpayers is at best another subjective opinion based on selective facts, and at worst, completely incorrect. Disincorporation will save Village residents money, there is no "significant cost." Even if there was a cost, whether or not it's "significant" is a matter of opinion.
Hatton responded to opponents in a recent letter to the Grand Haven Tribune.
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMIPolitics@Gmail.com