West Ada school board chair Tina Dean, Russell Joki and Carole Sayles all say they are in it for the long haul and will face voters on May 17.
School district trustees also set aside next Tuesday to consider applicants, and possibly choose someone, to replace Julie Madsen. She also faced recall but decided Friday to resign instead.
Each of the other trustees targeted for recall made short statements at Tuesday’s meeting.
Joki provided the media with a written statement he said was too long to read in the meeting, in which he criticized recall supporters for moving to unseat him and other trustees within two months of their taking office.
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“The recall forces were determined to ignite a recall effort — energized with secret money — and using a strategy to discredit the new board members Joki and Madsen and incumbents Carol Sayles and Tina Dean,” he wrote.
Recall supporters say they have raised $6,500, including donations from a developer and a contractor, but have not divulged names. They are not required to divulge names under Idaho law.
Following the meeting, Joki sharply criticized fellow board member Mike Vuittonet for his involvement in the recall and accused him of helping to create legislation that would limit the power of trustees to fill vacancies on their boards if they are facing recall.
“He is working with legislators individually to prohibit trustees from fulfilling their term,” Joki said. “He has actively pursued since the first months, the first week of my position on this board, of recalling not only me but the other members.”
Vuittonet acknowledged that he met with lawmakers because he believed the law was written in such a way as to allow the board members facing recall to resign and replace themselves with similar people.
“We said this is a concern,” Vuittonet said. “After that I wasn’t involved (in the legislation).”
Joki’s statement also pointed to positive things he thinks the board has done:
▪ Raised questions about cost overruns at Hillsdale Elementary School.
▪ Ended classroom fees for academic courses.
▪ Approved construction of a new Pathways Middle School, which is now a collection of portable buildings.