Kalamazoo Township clerk to retire, citing election ‘stress’

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo Township shall be in search of a brand new clerk after the person who holds the job now made the shock announcement this week that he’ll quickly retire.

In Monday’s Board of Trustees assembly, Mark Miller learn his resignation letter, ending his greater than 14 years of public service efficient Feb. 28.

Miller was in his second four-year time period as clerk when he mentioned he had a change of coronary heart after working lengthy hours main as much as and in the course of the 2022 election.

“Working elections, taking the minutes and all the pieces else — I get pleasure from all of that. It’s solely the stress of elections underneath circumstances as they’ve developed that’s the sticking level proper now for me,” Miller defined. “I’m getting older. It’s painful to be working that lengthy. And I simply took a take a look at it afterwards and mentioned, ‘Do I actually wish to undergo that once more?’”

In his resignation letter, Miller defined to board members the statewide adjustments to clerk’s workplaces that contributed to his choice.

“Increasingly more complexity has been laid onto election directors, each by laws and by voter-approved initiatives,” Miller learn to board members. “A few of these provisions add necessary rights to voters, however all of them enhance the complexity and time required to deal with the entire a whole lot of steps we should perform.”

One instance he pointed to when talking with Information 8 is no-reason absentee voting, which multiplied the variety of absentee ballots he and his small workers deal with.

“We’ve to hand-assemble every envelope. There’s no machine to try this and we have now hundreds of (envelopes) too,” Miller defined. “There’s a few individuals right here, so we have now to get volunteers to do a superb little bit of that.”

Within the letter, Miller additionally assured the board that his retirement “has nothing to do with the difficulties the Township has been going through in current months or with any interpersonal points.”

Trying forward, Miller believes the long run is unsure in the case of elections, significantly questioning if clerk’s workplaces in smaller townships and villages will have the ability to deal with the launch of early voting. A poll proposal handed in November requires the addition of 9 days of early voting, alongside different election reforms.

“How are the ballots going to be secured after they’ve been put within the tabulator? Will we have now to empty these ballots and put them in a safe poll container daily throughout that on the shut of enterprise (hours)? How is that this going to work for smaller townships which will have just one part-time clerk and no different assist for that particular person?” Miller mentioned. “There are lots of unknowns. However I hasten to say that my choice to retire at the moment isn’t a lot about that. However It’s actually about me and my power stage.”

Miller mentioned he’s assured that civil dialogue between voters and their clerk’s workplaces will enhance.

“Folks will notice that they had been lied to in some circumstances, about among the accusations that had been ridiculous,” Miller added. “Folks will respect those that are working to uphold democracy for all the remainder of us.”

He intends to coach the brand new election coordinator earlier than his resignation takes impact and keep on the Township Local weather Committee afterwards as he and the township supervisor talk about posting the place. He hopes his successor has consideration to element and a coronary heart for public service.

“It’s time for me handy this off to somebody youthful, or not less than somebody with extra power than I possess at this level in my life,” Miller learn from his letter.

He appears to have his successor in workplace by March — two months earlier than this Could’s native election, which is anticipated to have a Kalamazoo Regional Training Service Company millage renewal on the poll.