Tuttle to fill Leet seat as Howard clerk

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Linda Leet, who was hoping to fill out her term, has resigned as clerk for Howard Township.
Her resignation was effective on Sept. 30.
Shirley Tuttle, who has been Howard Township's deputy clerk for 16 years, was appointed as the new township clerk on a special township board meeting on Tuesday evening.
Leet didn't attend the special meeting, at which her own resignation was approved by the board, because of family commitments.
A recent township meeting, during which unprecedented verbal exchange took place between Mike Smith, a local resident, and the township supervisor, Hal Davis, influenced her decision to quit.
Leet is the only out of the seven Howard Township board members not subject to an ongoing recall effort by a group called the Howard Township Watchdog Organization. That group consists of former township supervisor, Ted Kennedy, local farmer Larry Eckler, and long term township residents, Tony Anderson and Mike Smith.
The group have collected the minium 438 signatures needed to hold a recall election in Howard Township.
The recall petitions were handed in to the township on Sept. 25, and petition signatures are currently being verified at the township level.
The six board members subject to the recall are the township supervisor, Hal Davis, treasurer, Eileen Glick and trustees Mike Gordon, George Johnson, Craig Bradfield and Mike Richmond.
The watchdog group claims the six board members are responsible for unlawful conduct as board members.
The group also claims Glick and Davis have misused township funds.
Disagreement between the board and the watchdog group on two controversial zoning issues in the township also fueled the recall effort.
Leet said it has been hard to work at the township office after all board members but her became the subject of a recall.
However, she said the six other board members have not treated her badly.
Although no longer a township employee, Leet said she has made many good friends in the township.
In three elections, no one has run against her.
Shirley Tuttle said her new job will be a challenge. After 16 years of experience working in the township, Tuttle knows the township as a whole and knows her tasks. With the recall issue looming in the background, however, Tuttle isn't entirely comfortable with her new position.
She appreciates that Leet recommended her for the clerk position, but was surprised to learn of Leet's resignation.
Tuttle said so far recall petitions signed on three board members have been verified and she has started on the fourth.
She will take the petitions to the county on Oct. 15.
Tuttle expects a recall election to take place in December.

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