Chesterfield Official Criticizes Election Candidates Following Failed Election Bid
Trustee Michele Ficht, who ran unsuccessfully for clerk in the primary election used public comments Monday night during the Board of Trustees meeting to lash out at candidates.
Chesterfield Township Trustee Michele Ficht, who lost her bid for the clerk position in the August primary, lashed out at several candidates during the Monday night board meeting.
Her criticism came after incumbent Clerk Jan Uglis, a Democrat, advanced to the November election to square off against Republican Cindy Berry. Ficht, a Democrat, used her public comments to talk politics.
Among her targets were Uglis, who said she was stunned by the words.
Ficht said Uglis told people Ficht was speaking badly about her. "If I was going to badmouth her, I would do so publicly since I had the ammunition to do so," Ficht said.
She accused the clerk of wrongly taking credit for medical benefit negotiations in campaign literature.
Uglis said, after the meeting, that she was heavily involved in the medical benefit negotiations before Ficht attended meetings.
"I'm on vacation, but you know, I have been working every day," she said. "You know you come in here feeling good ... and I got to take this crap?"
She wondered why Supervisor Michael Lovelock did not enforce his stance that political mudslinging would not be allowed at township meetings. Lovelock left the meeting before commenting.
Trustee candidate John Grivas also became a target in Ficht's statements. She said, "Mr. Grivas also believes he will get benefits."
Grivas, who pointed out that he knows from experience as a former board member that benefits don't come with the job, said he was shocked by her words.
"It's a big lie and she should feel ashamed about it," he said after the meeting.
Ficht also accused several township candidates of aligning with each other, not regularly attending meetings and one candidate of bullying tactics. Meanwhile, she pointed to a 20-percent voter turnout in the primaries and expressed disappointment in Trustee Jerry Alexie, Trustee candidate Thomas Yaschen and Treasurer candidate Marvin Stepnak for not getting enough votes to advance to the general election.
"Sometimes the best candidates lose," she said, referring to advice she received that if she did her best she was a winner. "I am a winner."
She said her statements came after nearly four years of silence when others publicly attacked her.
"I have nothing to lose," she said. "I'm no longer running."
Others, such as Uglis and Grivas, chalked up the speech to sour grapes.
Alexie also used his public comments to address the election. He noted that he was appointed to the position to fill a vacancy and did not even expect payment for his work.
"To the residents who didn't vote for me, I will say this: I will take my 35 years in the township, my four degrees and say 'It's your loss.'"
Treasurer Linda Hartman, who is running for re-election, also addressed rumors she said she's heard that she is in poor health.
"I am grieving but I am not ill," said Hartman, whose husband Earl recently passed.