REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — The current Reynolds Township clerk has resigned and the Republican primary election winner — who faces no opposition in the general election — refuses to take office in the meantime.
Tina Porzondek stepped down as clerk at last Thursday night’s Reynolds Township Board meeting, as did Deputy Clerk Lisa Lambert, effective immediately.
Township board members asked Robin Sholty, who will likely be the next township clerk, if she would accept an appointment to fill the clerk’s position until Sholty is sworn in on Nov. 20, assuming she wins the Nov. 6 general election.
Sholty declined, telling The Daily News she doesn’t want to work with a “hostile board.”
“They were voted in by the people and it’s unfortunate they can’t fulfill their term,” Sholty said. “Working with this current, hostile board, no thanks. I can’t believe what’s going on. It’s just unreal. The residents of Reynolds Township deserve better than that.”
The current five-member Reynolds Township Board was ousted by five challengers in the Aug. 7 primary election.
Daniel Fisk beat Supervisor Keith Grannis by 604 votes to 233 votes.
Sholty beat Porzondek by 572 votes to 258 votes.
Jan Stevens beat Treasurer Roger Stedman by 593 votes to 240 votes.
Aaron Kindel and Willet “Bill” Smith received 551 votes and 544 votes, respectively, to beat trustees Lee Olsen and Ann Yanke, who received 199 votes and 219 votes, respectively.
Porzondek said she resigned as clerk last Thursday because she was offered another job and accepted it.
“I have two kids in college,” Porzondek said. “I can’t wait around. I’m not there anymore. I’m not the clerk. Robin Sholty is the clerk, if she accepts the position she was elected to and appointed to.”
In the meantime, the Reynolds Township office in downtown Howard City is closed. A sign on the door reads, in part, “Robin has decided not to accept the clerk’s position as of this date (Sept. 13). The position will remain vacated until she decides to accept the position or another election is held.”
A second sign, crudely written and misspelled and duct-taped to the outside of the township office door, states, “For more info contact John Powel” (should be spelled Powell).
Powell is the owner of Powell’s Excavating & Septic on M-82 in Reynolds Township just west of Howard City. He has had numerous zoning-related disagreements with current township board members, but it’s not clear why his name is on the sign on the door.
“It’s going to make the next two months a little tough,” said Grannis of Porzondek’s resignation and Sholty’s refusal to be appointed. “The office is going to remain closed and we’re going to do the best we can.”
Stedman will continue to conduct township business from his home. Anyone needing to turn in township taxes can do so via a drop-box at the township hall. Grannis and Stedman will also check phone messages at the township hall on a regular basis.
Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard is working with the Bureau of Elections to determine how township clerk responsibilities will be handled during the next two months and during the Nov. 6 election.
“It certainly is a very unfortunate situation, to say the least,” Millard said.
In the meantime, Grannis said things are going to continue to pile up in the township office.
“It really would have helped if Robin had helped out,” Grannis said. “I think she’s afraid there’s some kind of agenda and we (the current township board) are going to try to do something to her, but it’s just not true. I just don’t see the logic in appointing somebody else as a temporary clerk for two months and to be quite honest I don’t think I could find anyone. Everyone wants to stay as far away from the situation as possible.”