Opinion: The Recall has Failed, Providing Conservative School Board Members a Further Mandate
On August 29th, the Teller County Clerk and Recorder concluded the latest attempt by a group of individuals to stop school choice, to prevent needed improvement with our school district, and to deny the voice of the voters who elected 4 school board members by a wide margin last year, by formally announcing that the recall committee failed to reach the necessary number of legitimate signatures.
While it is paramount that this community attempt to move forward, it is apparent that a radical, fringe element will constantly exist to oppose school choice, quality education and parents’ rights to have input into their children’s education.
Just this month, a lawsuit was heard in Teller County, again attempting to prevent school choice in our district – the third such lawsuit to date if we are not mistaken. The plaintiff is one of the three same individuals that served on the recall committee.
It’s important, knowing that this group will likely keep going with their efforts, to set the facts straight. The following are some of the insinuations that have been made by our local fringe radicals that need to be addressed, and set straight for the record:
The first claim: the failed attempt to gather signatures somehow represents a referendum on our current board. In reality, the recall organizers had two long, very comfortable months to collect signatures with free reign of our local restaurants, groceries, farmers markets and neighborhoods in a very well publicized recall from a very sympathetic local newspaper. Their ranks were swelled with individuals that are fortunate enough, for the most part, to not have to work and there for each days schedule was cleared to meander outside of a local business. Despite all of these advantages, these organizers failed to reach even the number of people that voted against the conservatives in the November election. Is it possible that they actually have more support from the community than they did when then first ran?
Claims of dishonesty abound and videos exist, showing recall campaign volunteers lying to our neighbors with claims such as “the school board is meeting illegally”. Lies and slander continue – including a recent, almost comical claim that because the President of Merit happens to live close to Charis, she must be connected to Andrew Womack. While these lies are laughable they also demonstrate the tactics of those who still wish, despite every failed attempt, to slander those who volunteer on our school board and that of our local charter school. Despicable.
We are also all by now familiar with the false reporting incident – in which one of the three campaign organizers (Samantha Peck) have been charged with filing a false police report and attempting to influence a public official – of course, someone could have easily gotten hurt or worse. While I’ll be careful to add that everyone is innocent until proven guilty – it’s important to note that some very prominent members of our community have shown up in court with this individual – including a former school board candidate and local restaurateur and the only holdover from previous failed school boards that remains on the current 5-person board. Not one of these individuals or the presidents of past failed school boards that so eagerly supported the recall effort, at least up until this event, has condemned the alleged actions of the campaign organizer. It’s nice to see that due process applies to recall organizers – it’s unfortunate for former board director Gary Brovetto that he didn’t receive the same treatment when he was wrongfully accused in an orchestrated hit. It will be interesting to see if the 5th school board director that appeared to support the alleged swotting recall campaign leader has anything to say about his appearance in court. Does he support these alleged actions against his fellow directors? He has certainly indicated that he does with his actions. I wonder if he’ll have the courage to make a statement on this. Well, we're waiting.
So a few things are now blatantly evident:
The adults, it turns out, have been sitting at the head of the room this entire time. The voters do, as the election already showed overwhelmingly support 4 of the members of this board. The recall campaign demonstrated that they were not made up of transparent and honest individuals that have some altruistic goal of holding a rogue board accountable. Lastly – it is blatantly apparent that 4 members of this board have a mandate – confirmed yet again, to move this district in different, and better direction.