CALDWELL — A group looking to recall Middleton school board members has enough signatures to get a recall measure on the ballot, the Canyon County Elections Office confirmed to CBS 2 News on Monday.
Petitioners are seeking to recall Middleton School District trustees Tim Winkle in zone 3, Aleisha McConkie in zone 1, and Kirk Adams in zone 2. Adams, however, doesn’t qualify for a recall because he hasn’t served 90 days; he was appointed in March.
Winkle received 446 votes in his last election in May 2015, according to the elections office. Recall organizers needed to get signatures totaling 50 percent of those votes, and they did.
McConkie received 253 votes in a 2017 election, and recall organizers obtained signatures totaling 50 percent of that vote.
McConkie told the Idaho Press in an email statement that she is “sad and frustrated” and that the organizers were not honest and the petition was “misrepresented” to signers.
“I have served the best I can for the last two years. I ask questions, attend trainings, advocate to the legislators, spend hours serving on curriculum committees and teacher negotiations, do everything I can to help support the teachers and students, and try my best to make decisions that are in the best interest of the district,” McConkie said in the email. “I abide by the code of ethics that I have signed, and will continue to do all of those things. I feel I am being recalled over a single decision. I hope that the last two years of service I have given and the knowledge I bring to board will not be overlooked.”
The Canyon County Elections Office says it is now waiting on the ballot wording from the petitioners.
Recall organizers, who hope to get the recall on the August ballot, say a recent 3-1 vote to not renew Middleton High School principal Ben Merrill’s contract over the objections of many people present triggered the recall movement.
“The school board members have just made poor decisions consistently,” recall organizer David Morgan said at the time. “The last decision to get rid of our beloved principal was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s time for new leadership in the community.”
Adams told the Idaho Press on Monday that the push for the recall doesn’t deter him from wanting to serve on the board — if anything it makes him even more committed to his trustee position.
“This is an extremely emotional issue, and the more I dig into it, there’s more to this than just Dr. Ben Merill. It’s been a pattern developing over a couple of years,” Adams said. “I’m going to be objective as long as I’m allowed, there’s just too much good going on in the community.”
If the petitions for recall are based “on a series of poor decisions,” he said, why would Morgan push for my recall after “a couple of meetings?”
Winkle did not provide comment Monday.
Another Middleton school board member, Erica St. Michell in zone 5, resigned last month amid controversy over her election process. The board was scheduled to select her replacement Monday night out of three candidates.
Another leadership change is heading the district’s way. Superintendent Josh Middleton is taking a superintendent job with the Granite Falls School District in Granite Falls, Washington, according to Idaho Education News.
Riley Bunch from the Idaho Press contributed to this reporting.