After a year of upheaval in the West Ada School District, voters sorted out what many thought had become a “big mess” Tuesday by recalling a pair of trustees.
Chairwoman Tina Dean and Trustee Carol Sayles, both with about a year left in their four-year terms, were removed from office, with more than 60 percent of the vote going against them.
Tuesday’s recall followed a year of division in the district as the board first sought to throw out the third year of then-Superintendent Linda Clark’s contract. The board terminated Clark after she abruptly resigned in October, complaining that she was the victim of a board “witch hunt.” Clark and the district later settled their dispute by paying Clark $160,000.
Voter Lori Stom supported the recall of Dean, saying trustees are supposed to represent the people. “They represented them poorly,” she said. “I’m sad because of the recall.”
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The district is poised to get itself back on track, said Christine Donnell, co-chair of the committee that pushed the recall. “People really listened,” she said.
The vote is a message to the board that residents in the district are watching “and they care,” said Mike Vuittonet, a board member who supported the recall of his colleagues.
Not everyone was complimentary. Marion Demer, who voted to retain Sayles in her West Ada zone, said the push to dump the trustees came down to “pettiness.”
Recall backers took action because they weren’t getting their way, Demer said. Now, she said, she’s ready for the upheaval to be over.
“Give it a rest,” she said.
Dean did not return phone calls seeking comment. Sayles said she wanted to wait for the final results before commenting.