Government and Human Resources

Voters recall elected official

May 10, 2018
| By AP |
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KALKASKA — Voters have tossed a northern Michigan elected official out of office after he made a series of inflammatory social media posts.

Unofficial results from Tuesday's recall election reportedly show that Jeff Sieting was voted out as village president in Kalkaska and that voters elected Harley Wales to replace him. Sieting held the post for more than five years.

Wales will serve the rest of Sieting's term and plans to run for re-election in November.

A recall petition was filed last November over complaints that included Sieting's social media posts. The Facebook posts called for the killing of "every last Muslim" and for nuclear weapons to be used on the world's 10 largest Muslim-majority cities.

Another post suggested violence against members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sieting also voted to approve a budget that had a $500,000 deficit, according to the petition.

Sieting told the Traverse City Record-Eagle he's relieved with the vote's outcome.

"It's been a lot longer than I've wanted to do this position," he said.

Sieting saw some support from residents at the polls, with several saying he had a positive impact on the town.

"I don't want to judge him on his beliefs and opinions," resident Deborah Ferrell said. "I want to judge him based on what he does for the community."

But others expressed frustration with Sieting's leadership.

"I think we need some new blood in this town," resident Penny Turner said. "I'm tired of Jeff and his bad-boy attitude."

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