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Township recall backers field slate of four

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By Scott Sullivan

Editor

A group seeking to recall four Saugatuck Township board members planned to file paperwork Wednesday to place four alternate candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Former township supervisor Bill Wester will run against recall target Brad Rudich for clerk. Jon Helmrich will seek to replace Lori Babinski as treasurer; while Stacey Aldrich and Abby Bigford will run against current trustees Doug Lane and Roy McIlwaine.

Township voters will also elect a supervisor Nov. 6 to complete the last two years of Jon Phillips’ four-year term. Phillips resigned March 16 upon moving from the township. The remaining board members were slated Tuesday to choose his replacement, at least through the fall election.

Three of four announced applicants for that spot, Terry Burns, Rebecca Israels and Don Olendorf, last week withdrew their names from consideration. Barring a last minute applicant, the board was scheduled to name Chris Roerig — a township trustee from 2000 to 2012 and now deputy supervisor — to that spot.

Wester, township supervisor from 2006 to 2016, is a small business owner.

Helmrich, former township representative on the Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority, brings 25 years of experience in financial planning and budget control for companies and nonprofit groups.

Aldrich has run her own local business for 30 years, has lived in the area most of her life and at age 55 earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Bigford earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Grand Valley State University and worked at the Allegan County Circuit Court Family Division for 15 years. She and her husband have three children.

“We are delighted,” said Cindy Osman, who with fellow township resident Kathy Sturm led the successful recall signature-gathering effort last winter, “that these four candidates, with their experience and qualifications, have stepped forward to serve on the township board.

“They have what it takes to get the job done,” she said.