Recall could cost school district up to $100k
TAHOE/ TRUCKEE ” A special election to recall three Tahoe Truckee Unified School District trustees could cost the school district as much as $100,000.
Early this month trustees Kristy Olk, Bill Kraus and Bev Ducey were served with notices that voters would seek to collect enough signatures on a petition to recall them, citing a dissatisfaction with their service to the board.
Deficiencies in math and English instruction, along with a dissatisfaction with decisions the board members made to reconfigure the district’s lakeside schools were some of the reasons organizer Robert Mowris of Olympic Valley said caused him to spearhead the petition.
Mowris said the recall’s costs are insignificant as compared to measures the board has already passed.
“They’re already spending money to do stuff a majority of voters don’t want them to do,” Mowris said. “The amount of money is so minuscule compared to what they’re already proposing it’s like putting on sunscreen after you’ve already got skin cancer. Look, nobody wants to spend time or money on this recall, but the problem is we don’t know what they’re going to come up with next.”
If the petition garners more than 20 percent of the district’s approximately 17,000 voters ” 3,400 ” a special election must be held to recall the trustees.
Typically, said Steve Dickinson, the assistant superintendent of finance, the school district’s share of a regular election’s cost is about $25,000. But, since the election would fall sometime in early 2010 if the petition gathers enough support, and no other special elections are currently planned at that time, the district would be on the hook to pay the entire cost.
Elections cost, according to the Nevada County Elections Office, range from precinct officers and poll workers to publication costs, mailing expenses and the printing of ballots.
At about $4-$6 per voter in Placer and Nevada Counties ” El Dorado elections officials were still calculating the costs of the 400 or so registered voters ” the district could see costs of possibly $68,000- $102,000 related to holding the election. The amount could fluctuate depending on the number of candidates in the special election, said officials at the elections offices.
The district would need to budget the funds along with the 2009-10 budget, which a series of cost-cutting measures have been aimed at to reduce a $4 million projected deficit.
The school district has eliminated about $3.5 million already from the budget, through a combination of layoffs, increases in parent costs and various other efficiencies. Dickinson said at a board meeting last Wednesday the district would look at cuts to administration among other reductions to make up the last $400,000-$500,000 in the projected deficit.
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