CARROLLTON — Enough signatures have been satisfied for the recall of Carroll County Ambulance District President Caren Bittiker, according to Carroll County Clerk Norma Sparks. Her staff is now verifying new signatures for the recall of another board member, Dottie Standley, and hopes to certify both recalls at the same time. Recall organizer Dan Gawedzinki redoubled his efforts after 34 total signatures were rejected on both women’s petitions earlier this month. Gawedzinki, a former interim district administrator and paramedic, publicly served notice at the district’s September board meeting.
The petition alleges Bittiker and Standley contributed to the loss of 24-hour paramedic care to Carroll County residents, thus creating a “public panic” due to a self-inflicted staffing shortage. It also cites the failure of the board to have state-required board training. At its rescheduled board meeting on Nov. 12, the board voted to pay for board training, totaling $600. Bittiker calls the board a voluntary one, in which board training was not required; however, seats on the six-person board are elected positions.
Even though the ambulance district board did not include the establishment of candidate filing dates as part of its business at the Nov. 17 meeting, by law the district, like other government entities, are required publish a notice for candidate filings in the county newspaper. Sparks says candidate filings begin on Dec. 15 and end on Jan. 19, 2021 for the April 6, 2021 election. Standley’s seat, which represents Carrollton Wards 2 and 3 is open, as well as Janice Miller’s who represents Moss Creek, Sugartree, Eugene, Combs and Wakenda. Bittiker represents Carrollton Wards 1 and 4. Her term was to end in April 2022. Candidates for the ambulance district board file at the county clerk’s office. All other candidates for townships, city councils and school boards file directly with the clerk or secretary of those entities.