A retired Boise School District teacher and Democratic lawmaker is seeking signatures on a petition to get West Ada School District trustee Mike Vuittonet recalled.
Daryl S. Sallaz, 72, turned in preliminary petitions last week to the Ada County Elections Office and got the OK to launch a full-on petition drive that could put a Vuittonet recall on the March ballot.
Sallaz told the Statesman that he taught for 37 years, 20 of them as a history teacher at Fairmont Junior High. He served one term as a representative in the Idaho Legislature (1976-78) and unsuccessfully ran against Jerry Evans for the job of state superintendent of public instruction.
Sallaz disagreed with Vuittonet over the approval of then-superintendent Linda Clark’s one-year contract extension at a meeting of a previous board. The newly seated board, which took office on July 1, overturned the extension, saying it had been approved at a meeting that violated the state’s open meeting law.
Vuittonet stands by the vote to extend Clark’s salary.
The board’s handling of Clark’s contract touched off a recall against the other four board members, which Vuittonet has supported.
“His solution is to get rid of those four,” Sallaz said. “My solution is to get rid of him.”
Clark resigned on Oct. 23; the board says it never accepted that resignation and terminated her contract this month.
Sallaz also took issue with Vuittonet’s response to the looming cost overrun at Hillsdale Elementary School, which is under construction and paid for with a bond voters approved in March.
Vuittonet has said he has had experience with rising construction costs from previous projects and some of his fellow board members have not.
Sallaz said he conducted the initial petition drive, which required the signatures of 20 registered voters from Vuittonet’s zone in the southeast section of the district, with a little support from friends.
He put out a news release under the the title “Veterans for the Recall of Mike Vuittonet,” complaining about the trustee. The organization, he said, is made of up three retired military men.
Sallaz lives in Boise. He does not have to be a West Ada School District resident to circulate the petition, said Phil McGrane, chief deputy Ada County clerk.
Sallaz will now need to collect 278 signatures from registered voters to get the recall on the ballot — a number equal to half the people who cast ballots in the May 23 election that Vuittonet won.
Sallaz said getting help with the recall is “my only chance.”
Petition war gains ground in West Ada School District
A second round of petitions — aimed at four trustees — came as no surprise when they were filed at the Ada County Elections Office on Monday.
Since September, a group calling calling itself The Concerned Citizens of West Ada School District for Trustee Recall has complained about board actions. The petitions cited complaints it has aired before, including a lack of transparency and fiscal responsibility. They also questioned treatment of the district staff and demeanor at board meetings. Christine Donnell, a former West Ada superintendent, and Reid Olsen, a former trustee, are leading the group.
The four board members are Russell Joki, Julie Madsen, Carol Sayles and board chair Tina Dean.
These petitions, each from one of the four zones that elected the trustees, must have 20 valid signatures. If signatures are approved, then supporters may collect signatures on a second petition that could lead to a recall vote.