CALDWELL — A group of residents looking to unseat two Caldwell School Board trustees is one step closer to their goal now that enough signatures have been collected to put the recall of one trustee on the November ballot.
Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker confirmed enough signatures were submitted to the Elections Office to put a recall question on the ballot for Trustee Amy Rojas. The group of residents is also aiming to have enough signatures to unseat Board Chairman Leif Skyving.
Rojas, who was appointed to the board in 2007, said she doesn't understand why the recall is targeting her and Skyving, when Trustee Thomas Briten voted in favor of a controversial move to remove former Superintendent Tim Rosandick as well. She questioned the "agenda" of the group organizing the recall.
"If it's about the superintendent, there were three of us who voted for that, not just two," she said Friday.
She said also all five trustees were unanimous in the decision before the public vote. When that came up before the board, Trustee Sandra Dodson had stopped attending meetings and Trustee Chuck Stout voted no.
The effort to unseat Rojas and Skyving comes one month after former superintendent Tim Rosandick and his assistant superintendent, Luci Asumendi, were relieved by the school board of active duty status.
Rojas and Skyving are two of three board members who passed addenda to Rosandick and Asumendi’s contracts relieving them of active duty. The recall does not include Trustee Thomas Briten, who also voted for the contract change. Rosandick and Asumendi 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 self-appointed spokesman for the group of residents hoping to recall Rojas and Skyving is Russ Beardsley, who also served as the vice chairman of the committee that hired Rosandick as superintendent. He has told the Press-Tribune 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.
Skyving says that is not true, but says he cannot discuss more details of why Rosandick and Asumendi were removed.
For the recall question to qualify, the group needed 93 signatures for Rojas' seat in Zone 1. That number represents half of the total number of voters in the 2013 election.
Beardsley said they submitted 120 signatures, well over the required amount. He said now that one petition is complete, the group will focus on obtaining the 348 signatures needed to do the same for Skyving. That threshold is much higher because Skyving ran unopposed in 2013.
“We have a team that is going out and basically going door-to-door,” Beardsley said Friday. “Whenever I go and get a signature, I basically am asking, 'Do you know anybody that would be interested in signing?' So we're using references. That's been extremely effective.”