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UPDATE: Gooding School Board Member Is Target of Recall

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GOODING • A group of community members submitted a pre-recall petition seeking to get Gooding School District board trustee David Reeves out of office.

The petition released Tuesday by the Gooding County Clerk’s Office was received Monday, Feb. 10. It includes 29 signatures from registered voters, but a few aren’t in Reeves’ trustee zone or didn’t include a physical street address. The minimum required on a petition of this kind is 20 signatures.

Reeves said he hadn’t heard about the pre-recall petition until late Tuesday afternoon.

“Basically, I was elected to do a job and I’ve been doing that job to the best of my abilities,” he said. “I’m not going to quit just because 20 people have been rounded up to oppose me.”

But, he said, constituents in his zone might decide they think someone else would do a better job in his position.

Gooding County Clerk Denise Gill said she hasn’t received any pre-recall petitions for other Gooding School Board trustees.

Reeves said he feels the pre-recall petition was filed partly due to the positions he has taken on different issues.

“Many times, I’m the only one asking the hard questions and a lot of people are not used to that,” he said.

Reeves said the vote on Superintendent Heather Williams’ resignation was the first time he’d ever heard another school board member vote “no” on an item.

“I think there are some people who are in disagreement with the way I have voted,” he said.

Reeves said he thinks some who signed the pre-recall petition would like to see other board members gone, too.

He said he may be the easiest target because not many people showed up to vote when he was elected – meaning not as many people must sign a recall petition.

Under Idaho Code, a recall petition must be signed by at least 50 percent of the number of electors who cast votes in that zone’s election. The recall petition can’t include anyone who signed the pre-recall petition.

Reeves’ term on the board began July 1, 2011. Only 32 voters cast ballots for that race, according to the Gooding County Clerk’s Office.

“When there’s a low turnout, 50 percent is not much,” Gill said.

If the clerk’s office receives a petition with enough valid signatures, Reeves will be allowed five days to consider resigning, Gill said.

If he decides to stay in his position, the school district will call a recall election, she said.

In the pre-recall petition, community members list the following reasons for seeking to recall Reeves. He hasn’t been able to attend regularly scheduled Gooding School District Board of Trustee meetings, attend necessary trainings or “perform his duties efficiently and in the best interests of our students.”

Signers of the pre-recall petition also allege that Reeves “contributed greatly to the current hostile and nonproductive environment” and has shown disrespect to board members, the public, school district staff and administrators.

Of the allegations that he created a hostile environment, Reeves said, “I totally disagree with that.”

As for school board meetings, he said he only missed a few. For all but once, those absences were due to traveling out of state for work, Reeves said.

He said he told fellow board members every time he knew he’d miss a meeting and asked for the meeting date to be changed, but they declined.

“I don’t miss meetings on purpose,” he said.

Reeves said he has been to a few board member trainings, but feels it’s “the superintendent’s responsibility to train the board, as far as I understand it.”

He said he has brought his work expertise – including with topics such as project management, budgeting, leadership skills, performance appraisals and labor laws – to his role on the school board.

“I think everyone on the board brings different backgrounds, talents and abilities,” he said. “That’s what makes a school board work.”

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