Why does it not surprise me that Senator Winder is inserting himself into this recall of the four West Ada School District Trustees? Many of us believe that this is not about the ability of the trustees to run the school board, but about the $400 million budget that they will have control over. Many are not sure that it was ever about the Trustees’ abilities since they have done a great job of bringing the district back together with the hiring of a new superintendent and the new transparency and accountability that they are nurturing into the district. This is something everyone has wanted and something the old board never allowed to happen, as there were too many closed meetings and contracts written in secret session.
The Idaho legislature has no business sticking its nose into a local school district’s recall election. The rules for such a recall and election are already very clear and concise. To comment on Senator Winder’s remarks about like-mindedness, I have to assume that he is unhappy with how the new board members have opened up meetings, shown new transparency and want to be accountable to the taxpayers of the West Ada District, unlike many or our politicians.
We have local school districts so that there is local control, and there is no reason that this particular legislation would be necessary except to find a way to usurp that control from the voters and put it in the hands of the politicians. The voters elected the current board members and the numbers that the recall group has gathered are not huge by any means, but just over the limits necessary to ask for a recall. There are also 194 pages of signatures which are in question because of Reid Olsen’s notary stamp on them which are be challenged under Public Act, 51-108 Disqualifying Reid since he has acted as a leader of the group asking for the recall. This was brought to the attention of the Secretary of State this afternoon when several of these letters were hand delivered to his office asking for a disqualification of the 194 pages.
This well financed organized movement by establishment Republicans to remove this board from their duly elected positions is no more than a slap in the face of every taxpayer in the West Ada District and should be confronted with disdain. This is an organized attempt to hijack control of this board which is totally unnecessary if you have been to any of the meetings. If Winder continues to press for this legislation, he needs to be challenged in the primaries. We have not yet been able to establish the true reason for Winder’s concentrated interest in replacing this board, but it is not sitting well with the taxpayers of West Ada.
If our whining Senator does prevail and get this bill printed and there are hearings he may be surprised at the turnout. Be careful what you ask for Senator, you just might get something unexpected. There are other people who know how to organize and the good Senator may find himself a target for those that are unhappy with his shenanigans in trying to remove this duly elected board from office.