CALDWELL — Caldwell School Board trustee Leif Skyving says he is surprised by a petition launched this week by local residents to recall him and fellow trustee Amy Rojas.
The effort to unseat the two trustees comes nearly one month after former superintendent Tim Rosandick and his assistant superintendent, Luci Asumendi, were relieved by the school board of active duty status.
The self-appointed spokesman for the group of residents hoping to recall the trustees is Russ Beardsley, who also served as the vice chairman of the committee that eventually hired Rosandick as superintendent. He told the Press-Tribune on Monday that Skyving and Rojas had an “extreme distaste” for Rosandick and pushed him out after Travis Manning was elected as a trustee in May, changing the majority makeup of the board.
“I was very disappointed to see what (Russ) had said,” Skyving said Tuesday. “He’s basing it on supposition; he doesn’t know the facts. I like Russ, he’s a nice guy and I know that he likes (Rosandick), but I was really offended that he said Amy and I had a distaste for Tim. That’s absolutely not true.”
Skyving said he wishes he could explain more about what happened with Rosandick and Asumendi’s removal, but he is barred from saying more because personnel and property issues are discussed in executive session.
“So now they’re coming up with suppositions of why things happen. I think that’s too bad,” he said.
Beardsley said Tuesday he has already heard from individuals who want to canvass neighborhoods with petitions to gather signatures.
Canyon County Elections Supervisor Kathy Simon said 93 signatures are needed to place a recall question on the ballot for Zone 1, which is Rojas’ seat. The 93 signatures equate to 50 percent of the total number of voters in the 2013 election.
Skyving ran unopposed in the 2013 election, so the threshold needed to place a recall question on the ballot for his seat is 348 signatures, Simon said.
Rojas and Skyving are two of three board members who passed addenda to Rosandick and Asumendi’s contracts relieving them of active duty. The two remain with the school district as consultants and will receive the full salaries of their 2015-16 contracts — $137,000 for Rosandick and $96,297 for Asumendi.
The only explanation given for the move made by the trustees is that it was a “mutual agreement” for cohesiveness between the trustees and superintendent.
Jodie Mills, director of curriculum and instruction, is the interim superintendent for the 2015-16 school year.
Skyving said trustee Thomas Briten also voted in favor of those changes.
“They’re apparently not attacking him, so I’m thinking it has to do with old partisanship issues,” Skyving said. “I’m just wondering why Amy and I are being targeted.”
When asked if he was concerned that the petition effort would be successful, Skyving said he leaves the issue in the hands of voters.
“I’m here to do a job that I’ve been elected to, and I’ll be happy to go with what the voters want and I’ll be happy to do the job if that’s what they want me to do,” Skyving said. “I’m just disappointed with the misinformation that’s being put out there.”