Group seeks recall of Blackfoot School Board trustees

POSTED: 03:08 PM MST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 09:30 PM MST Jan 29, 2013 
BLACKFOOT, Idaho -

Some Blackfoot residents are trying to recall Blackfoot School Board treasurer Jenny Hong and Chairman R. Scott Reese.

The group, Concerned Citizens of District 55, said it formed due to the "recent controversial actions of the Blackfoot School Board," an allusion to the $220,000 buyout of former Superintendent Scott Crane's contract, which was carried out behind closed doors.

"They kind of lost the trust of the community," said group spokesman Rick Bigler on Tuesday evening.

Bigler said the group has begun the process to hold a recall election for Blackfoot School District #55 board chairman Scott Reese and treasurer Jenny Hong.

"It kind of evolved from some decisions the school board made in the release of Dr. Crane," said Bigler. "It was how they went about doing it in a secret way."

Hong and Reese are up for re-election in 2015, but Bigler said his group hopes they'll be voted out of their seats in a recall in May if all goes according to plan.
     
The group's Facebook page may be catching on quickly, but the recall process is still in its infancy.

Concerned Citizens of District 55 said it delivered the first signed petitions to the Bingham County Clerk's Office, which was confirmed by county officials to Local News 8.

Bingham County elections clerk Marlene Jensen said the group has filed initial paperwork, and gathered 20 signatures from both Reese and Hong's constituent zones within the district.

"Now they go out and pass the regular petition," said Jensen.

The next petition will require 65 signatures from Scott Reese's zone 3, and 212 for Hong's zone 2.

If those signatures are gathered, the candidates will be notified.

"The candidate has 5 days to respond and resign," said Jensen.

Jensen said if there is no resignation, the school board must initiate a recall election and both Hong and Reese will appear on the May ballot.

Our station left messages for both Scott Reese and Jenny Hong on Tuesday. Hong did not return calls, but Reese said he will be releasing a statement in the next few days.

The group said it isn't seeking the recall election of the other trustees, because vice chair Peter Lipovac and trustees Taylor Johansen, and Mary Jo Marlow are up for election in May.

Over the past couple months, the group said, citizens have called for board members' resignation with no response. The group said in a statement the recall was in hope, "this action will help our voices to be heard."

For up-to-date information on the group's activities, see its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Concerned-Citizens-of-District-55/500557523320974.

We will have more information on this effort, as well as reactions, tonight at 10 on Local News 8 and 9 on KIDK Eyewitness News.