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home : top stories : top stories February 26, 2015


7/12/2012 8:33:00 AM
Sumner Township recall election set
Ryan Urban
Chronotype staff

The year of recall elections is not over in Wisconsin. In the Barron County Town of Sumner, a petition of 97 signatures has been submitted to recall Town Board Supervisor Jim Crotteau.
The Town Board met Monday morning, July 9 and set the date for the recall election for Aug. 14.
The recall was organized by the Citizens for Responsible Land Use, a group that opposes frac sand mining in the township. Members of the group have said that Crotteau has not represented the town's citizens properly because of his support of a frac sand mine in the township.
Group members have said that the majority of Sumner residents oppose mining in the township.
"He's advocated for the mine instead of the citizens of the Town of Sumner," said recall organizer Carole Crisler.
Crotteau's challenger in the recall election is Ed Werts, one of the most outspoken opponents of mining in the township.
Werts said he has nothing against Crotteau personally, and doesn't like the idea of a recall, but feels it's something that needs to be done.
"His voting has gone against the people's wishes at every turn," said Werts.
Crotteau voted in favor of rezoning land for Canadian Sand & Proppants' mine, which is under construction on the south side of Hwy. 8 1.5 miles east of Hwy. M.
He also voted in opposition to a 6-month mining moratorium and against enacting a town ordinance regulating mining. Both measures passed by 2-1 votes.
Crisler cited a straw poll on frac sand mining conducted in the town in April to support claims that most of the town's residents oppose mining.
The straw poll recorded 63 votes in favor of sand mining, 72 opposed and 21 people who said they had no opinion. The poll also gathered 82 votes in favor of enacting ordinances regulating mining in the town and 20 opposed to regulations. The poll was taken at the same time as the gubernatorial primary for the June recall election. The primary only drew about half of the 320 Sumner residents who voted in the June election.
Werts said he decided to run for Crotteau's board supervisor position because people had asked him to.
"I think I can help to educate people," said Werts, adding that he has done extensive research on frac sand mining.
"People have been completely run over by the frac sand industry," said Werts. "I don't want to see that happen here."
If more than two people enter the race, the Aug. 14 date will serve as a primary and the official election will be held 4 weeks later.
The 97 signatures gathered in support of recalling Crotteau are 24 more than the 73 required, a number determined as 25% of total votes cast in the township in the last gubernatorial election in 2010.
Anyone who wishes to enter the recall race or wants more information can call Town Clerk Sandra Tomczak at 715-859-6520.
The Citizens For Responsible Land Use also has an ongoing lawsuit in Barron County Circuit Court proposing to nullify the rezoning of the 199-acre property on which CSP is developing its mine site.

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