"The picture that originates on my Facebook page ... I have to take complete ownership of," Trustee David Joseph said. "It’s no secret that I have been frustrated on a number of issues in the township ... These are things that have consumed me as I work my guts out."
Joseph acknowledged, however, that the so-called good ol' boy depiction of Supervisor Michael Lovelock and Police Chief Bruce Smith did not advance his work or Chesterfield Township's image.
‘It didn’t further my efforts. It is really regretful," he said. "I am disappointed in myself. I really let down my supporters."
Joseph referred to Lovelock's past motion to sell used township vehicles--which was investigated and cleared of wrongdoing by Macomb County authorities--as satirical reference for the "Dukes of Hazzard" meme.
He also said he's been increasingly frustrated since taking office with what he believes is slow progress finding solutions to properly fund the police department after voters rejected a tax hike last November. And, he has been at odds with Lovelock over other issues, such as Joseph's hopes to lower a township family's high water bill and the supervisor's absence at the last meeting, he said.
Lovelock's presence was expected after Joseph put the Berkmeier family's disputed $1,655 water bill on the meeting agenda. His absence followed several hostile conversations in which the supervisor disagreed with lowering the water bill and even kicked him out of his office, Joseph said.
A split 3-3 vote by the board meant the motion to offer relief didn't pass.
The supervisor's absence compelled Joseph to call for a sergeant-at-arms to track him down to bring him to the board during the meeting--a move that was not carried out after the township attorney called it illegal.
Lovelock, whose secretary said he was on vacation last week, did not return requests for comment by Wednesday.
Since summer, a recall effort targeting Lovelock has been underway in Chesterfield Township. Resident Gary Feld is spearheading the initiative. Joseph, who is friends with Feld, said he has no interest in full-time politics or trying to become supervisor but thinks that Lovelock lacks credibility needed to lead the community.
In late June, Lovelock responded to news of the recall effort with surprise.
"I am not going to stop what I am doing for the community because I love this community," he told Patch.
He cited his accomplishments as the half-million-dollar Webber Splash Park, made possible through a township donation by the Webber Family Foundation, $400,000 worth of play equipment in various parks and the return of Summer Salute, a free family-friendly annual event.
He also said under his watch $1 million was placed into the township retirement system that was "underfunded by my predecessor."
In response to the used vehicle controversy, Lovelock said "that was inspected by the Macomb County Sheriff's Department." He noted the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office concurred with the Sheriff's Office finding of no wrongdoing, adding he would not comment further on the subject.