Education

Group takes first step to recall four West Ada School District trustees

From right, West Ada trustees Russell Joki, Carol Sayles and Tina Dean may face a recall vote in May. Julie Madsen, fourth from right, has resigned. Mike Vuittonet, far left, was the focus of a separate, failed recall attempt.
From right, West Ada trustees Russell Joki, Carol Sayles and Tina Dean may face a recall vote in May. Julie Madsen, fourth from right, has resigned. Mike Vuittonet, far left, was the focus of a separate, failed recall attempt. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Opponents have launched their first phase in a recall effort to remove four West Ada School District trustees from office.

The Concerned Citizens of West Ada School District for Trustee Recall have started gathering the 20 signatures required from residents of each zone where the trustees were elected. Those signatures must be verified by the Ada County clerk before a full-blown petition drive seeking a recall vote may begin.

Opponents are aiming for a recall in the March election.

Those first petitions could be turned into Ada County sometime next week, said Christine Donnell, a former West Ada superintendent and the recall organization’s co-chair.

Recall supporters want to kick off the board Zone 5 Trustee Russell Joki and Zone 4 Trustee Julie Madsen, both elected in May, and Zone 3 Trustee Carol Sayles and Zone 1 Trustee (and board chairwoman) Tina Dean, both of whom were elected in 2013.

A Facebook page also has emerged calling for the recall of Mike Vuittonet, a trustee serving his fifth term, but it doesn’t appear to identify who is behind it.

Recall backers disagree with how former Superintendent Linda Clark was treated by the board. Trustees other than Vuittonet clashed with Clark over her contract and the fact that she spoke out on educational issues involving other districts. The trustees also expressed concern about her appointment to the State Board of Education.

Clark resigned Oct. 23, saying she had been the victim of a “witch hunt.”

Donnell also questioned the board’s transparency, in part because it excluded Clark from executive sessions.

“I don’t believe they have been transparent at all. Nor do I believe they have been fiscally responsible at all,” Donnell said.

Sayles declined comment. The other three trustees were not immediately available for comment.

  Comments