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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mark Behnke Resigns from Calhoun County Commission

On Thursday night at the end of the Calhoun County Commission Meeting, Commissioner Mark Behnke resigned from the County Commission."I look forward to working with you in the city of Battle Creek," Behnke stated. "Thank you."

Behnke, who was elected to the Battle Creek City Commission in November, has been under fire for holding two offices that have been determined to be legally incompatible according to a determination from the Attorney General's office.

The resignation comes after a Battle Creek man filed a complaint on Tuesday with the ACLU, claiming that by Behnke holding two offices, he is denying voters their right to choose his replacement.

Behnke had stated during his campaign for City Commission that if he was elected to the City Commission, he would resign his position from the County Board. A month later Behnke had not resigned from either position which made people question if he intended to do so.

Many people speculated that Behnke was purposely trying to subvert the electoral process by waiting to resign so that he could appoint someone to his vacant County position. Criticism of Behnke's failure to resign after a month was heard loud and clear on via the comments posted on the Battle Creek Enquirer's website.Behnke had claimed that he had a right to hold both positions and cited a 1996 Attorney General's opinion to support his claim.

Behnke, who has previously served on the Battle Creek City Commission including serving as Mayor twice, will now serve as a At-Large City Commissioner.

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