By Emil Kezerle
Business Agent/Coordinator, Upper Michigan Office
1342 U.S. Highway 2, Crystal Falls, Michigan 49921
906-875-4990 – 800-361-1269
In recent articles, I have kept you informed regarding the effort to recall the mayor of the city of Norway. The primary purpose revolved around the mayor’s interests in eliminating the Norway Police Department.
Although an exceptional effort was put forth by the Norway Police Association and others, the recall effort failed 607 to 426.
It would be easy to assume that the effort was a complete failure; however, allow me to point out why this effort may still prove to be a success in the long run, and why involvement in political action is still necessary, even in the face of defeat.
First, this effort, according to local media sources, generated a remarkable increased turnout in the number of registered voters. Nearly 1000 citizens cast a ballot on the issue. Granted, 607 registered voters felt that the mayor should be allowed to keep his job. Four hundred twenty-six registered voters – or put another way, 40 percent of the electorate – informed the mayor and the rest of the city council that they did not approve of the mayor’s position regarding local police services.
I feel that this is extremely relevant for a number of reasons. First, it clearly informs the mayor and the rest of the city council that a significant number of voters care about their police services. Second, it provides a very clear barometer for the Norway Police Association with respect to how many registered voters need to be reached in an effort to tip the scale in the other direction. If you’re wondering, that number is 182. Very manageable, I would think.
The bottom line on the subject is that the Norway Police Association still exists and enjoys the support of many in the community.
On a very tragic note, the Iron County law enforcement community recently lost its chief prosecuting attorney. Prosecutor Joe Sartorelli was tragically killed when his vehicle apparently slid into an unexpected patch of black ice and rolled over. Joe Sartorelli was committed and dedicated to the needs of the Iron County residents. His allegiance to the Iron County law enforcement community will never be replaced, and his public service will be missed by many. Joe Sartorelli had great affection and compassion for the people of Iron County, his Christian faith, and his family. Let us remember him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.
In closing, the New Year will certainly bring with it more challenges for all of us. Do what you can to make the very best of it.