Tahoe/Truckee recall advocates: 4,500 signatures gathered
June 30, 2009
TRUCKEE/TAHOE and#8212; Supporters and detractors of the push to recall three Tahoe Truckee Unified School District members are popping up across the area in defense of their cause.
On one side, recall advocates have set up booths and tables at community events to make their argument known and encourage members of the public to sign a petition to recall Bev Ducey, Bill Kraus and Kristy Olk.
Similarly, the group to oppose the recall has set up shop at those same events to dissuade area voters from casting their voice.
The document in question and#8212; a petition to recall the three and#8212; was devised in late May and asks voters to approve the removal of Ducey, Kraus and Olk from office for making the decision to reconfigure the lakeside schools.
On April 22, the three voted 3-2 against fellow board members Lisa Mohun and Kirsten Livak to turn Kings Beach Elementary into a Spanish-immersion only K-3 school while reconfiguring Tahoe Lake Elementary as an English mainstream school. The reconfiguration, set for implementation this fall, also transforms North Tahoe Middle School into a 4-8 building.
Those who favor the recall, including Olympic Valleyand#8217;s Robert Mowris, say the move negatively affects test scores and student instruction.
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The petition has garnered an estimated 4,500 signatures and#8212; 1,500 per trustee and#8212; as of Tuesday afternoon, said Stan Scott, a supporter and organizer of the recall. The petition has been available to the public for about three weeks.
To successfully recall the three, supporters must gather about 3,400 signatures per trustee, or 20 percent of the electorateand#8217;s voters, according to California law.
Dave Goggin, another recall supporter, said he doesnand#8217;t anticipate the group will have a problem hitting that target within the 120-day window provided to collect signatures. The window will close in the early fall.
Goggin, manning the recall petition booth Tuesday at Truckeeand#8217;s farmerand#8217;s market, said about 150 people signed that day.
and#8220;Iand#8217;d say, and this isnand#8217;t scientific at all, but about a quarter of the people who see us sign it right away without needing more information,and#8221; Goggin said. and#8220;Another half usually need some information and another quarter wonand#8217;t sign at all.and#8221;
Goggin said most people approached about the recall elect to sign the petition.
and#8220;Usually in sales there are way more noand#8217;s than yesand#8217;s,and#8221; Goggin said. and#8220;Whatand#8217;s happening here is rare and#8212; weand#8217;re getting a lot more people saying yes.and#8221;
Goggin said supporters of the recall come from all over the district, ranging from Homewood to Truckee. To find out about how to sign the recall or for information on the supporterand#8217;s stance, contact Goggin at (530) 414-4582.
Joanna Monforte, another Olympic Valley resident and parent of two North Tahoe High students, opposes the recall for a variety of reasons, including the price tag of up to $100,000 which accompanies a special election.
She and others in the no-recall camp have met the supporters at the community functions, including Tuesdayand#8217;s farmerand#8217;s market, to make their voice heard.
and#8220;Iand#8217;m afraid people are saying yes and#8212; theyand#8217;ll sign it to get out of a confrontation with the supporters, and then they go back and educate themselves on the facts,and#8221; Monforte said. and#8220;What they did was vote toward spending money on the recall.and#8221;
Monforte said her group is trying to educate residents on the reasoning against the recall before they vote the trustees out of office.
and#8220;There were no egregious illegal actions taken by the board, I think people are simply reacting to their decisions by signing the recall,and#8221; Monforte said.
For information on the reasons against the recall, visit http://www.pro-no.org.
To recall a locally elected official, citizens must follow certain steps as laid out by the State of California.
The group will have 120 days to collect signatures from 20 percent of the electorateand#8217;s registered voters, or about 3,400 signatures. If the involved counties (El Dorado, Placer and Nevada) verify all signatories are indeed registered voters, and if there are enough signatures, the counties will verify the petition. A special recall election date would then have to be declared within two weeks of the verification and can be set as early as 88 days and no more than 125 days after the verification. Candidates who wished to oppose the board members would have to declare their eligibility at least 75 days ahead of time.