Flint, MI — Recall language submitted against Flint City Council Vice President Ladel Lewis was approved at a Genesee County Election Commission meeting on Oct. 20, 2023, while language filed against Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter was voted down.

“This is what democracy looks like,” Lewis said in response to the approval.

Sherry D. Allen, a resident of Flint’s second ward, filed two separate recall petitions against Lewis, but only one was approved.

The second petition’s language was dropped without a vote after Allen confirmed to the commission that the first petition’s language approval was enough.

The approved filing cites Lewis’ vote on a brownfield development plan while serving in her former role as president of the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association.

As Flint Beat previously reported, that nonprofit received a $1,500 donation from a political action committee associated with Ashley Capital, the developer that submitted that brownfield plan to help fund a portion of a large-scale development on Flint’s north side.

“Second ward city councilperson Ladel Lewis in her capacity as President of Sarvis Neighborhood Association in 2022 accepted a gift of $1500 from Ashley Capital and subsequently voted yes to resolution 23022.5 approving the Brownfield Plan submitted By Ashley Capital to the city of Flint,” the petition’s language reads.

The filing that was not voted on contained similar language to Allen’s first petition, which cited a special meeting Lewis missed in May and was approved on June 27, 2023.

That prior recall effort failed when the number of returned signatures fell short earlier this month.

Allen declined to comment to Flint Beat following the approval of the new language.

During the same Oct. 20 hearing, a third attempt at recall language against Councilwoman Winfrey-Carter failed due to there not being a hyphen between Winfrey and Carter in the councilwoman’s last name.

“My last name is hyphenated and when the hyphen is missing from my name, it is undeniably spelled incorrectly,” she said during the hearing.

The language, submitted by former Flint City Councilman Wantwaz Davis, cites Winfrey-Carter’s abstention from voting on “Resolution #230167, the yearly fiscal budget.”

The language followed similar wording to petition language Davis filed on Sept. 12 and Sept. 27, both of which were also voted down by the Genesee County Election Commission.

The first was denied in late September for not specifying what the resolution listed was about. The second was denied on Oct. 10 for multiple spelling errors.

Following the commission hearing, Davis said he was on his way to file another petition against Winfrey-Carter.

“The hyphen is just something that a person arbitrarily chooses on their own to put between their name that just separates the maiden name and the marriage name. That’s all it does,” he said. “But the hyphen not being there is not a legitimate reason to deny the merit of the language.”

As of press time, Genesee County Elections Supervisor Ellen Yope confirmed to Flint Beat that Davis had filed that new language against Councilwoman Winfrey-Carter. A hearing date before the Genesee County Election Commission has not yet been set.

The new language follows similar wording t0 the previously rejected language, but includes a hyphen in Winfrey-Carter’s last name as well as the fiscal year of the budget in question.

Sophia is Flint Beat's City Hall reporter. She joins the team after previously reporting for the Livingston Daily and the Lansing State Journal, along with some freelance work with The New York Times....

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