Montcalm Township treasurer recalled

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 2:41 pm on Monday, November 14, 2011

MONTCALM TOWNSHIP — The long-embattled Montcalm Township treasurer was recalled Tuesday.
Phyllis Shilling was taken out of office by a vote of 394 to 275, or about 59 to 41 percent.
Bob Lewis, a former Montcalm Township supervisor who initiated the recall, said he viewed voter results with “glee and remorse” Tuesday night.
“We feel bad for Mrs. Shilling,” he said. “We’re certainly sorry that this had to be the way the people of Montcalm Township had to fix their problem, but this is what ultimately had to happen.”
Lewis said the recall was not about Shilling’s personality, only her ability to carry out the treasurer’s duties.
“In (Shilling’s) defense, a lot of people are in public office that should not be and Mrs. Shilling just happened to be one of those people. She just was not equipped,” he said. “We didn’t challenge her honesty or anything like that, just that she wasn’t really prepared to do the job she had to go.”
Lewis submitted 469 signatures on a recall petition Aug. 5. He only needed 273 signatures for the recall proposal to be on the ballot.
“We’re celebrating, but reluctantly,” Lewis said. “This is not the way it has to be done. There has to be a better way.”
Current Supervisor Michael Adams said the voting results didn’t surprise him.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this point,” he said. “I feel bad for Phyllis, but this conflict and dispute between her and the board has been going on for several years. The people have finally spoken. The board’s going to have to move forward from here.”
Adams said he will appoint a temporary treasurer who will serve until a special election in February.
Shilling did not return calls seeking comment.

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