Pocatello, IDAHO – Three school board trustees from Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 have been notifed of a certified recall effort.
Trustees Dave Mattson, Jackie Cranor and Janie Gebhardt were notified by the Bannock County Elections office Thursday afternoon. The trustees have five days from December 10 to submit their resignations. If the trustees do not resign in the five-day time window, the recall effort will be up for a vote a March 2021 ballot.
The recall was started by the group Concerned Parents of Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25. Jesse Ward, an organizer of the group, says its decision to start the recall effort was made in September. Ward’s group disagreed with the trustees’ decision to keep students in a hybrid learning model, which reduced in-person learning time. The group also takes issue with the school board’s decision to change the Pocatello High School Mascot with what they say was made with little to no consultation with parents or students on the subject.
Jesse Ward says the parents of his group feel that the school board has not been listening to their constituents:
A broader view on the issue is how they have conducted themselves in the meeting and how so many decisions have been made behind closed doors that should have been made in an open meeting format.
The Bannock County Elections Office confirmed to KID News Radio that the signatures have been certified, and that the trustees were sent a notice on December 10, providing them the opportunity to resign within the next 5 days. If the board members choose not to resign, the recall effort will be handed over to Bannock County Clerk, Jason C. Dixon, to arrange for the recall to appear on a ballot.
In order for the petition to be certified, the Bannock County Elections Office needed a minimum of 206 signatures from registered voters living in Zone 5 of the school district to initiate the recall process against Dave Mattson. 164 signatures from registered voters living in Zone 1 were needed to begin the process to recall Jackie Cranor, and 351 signatures from registered voters living in Zone 2 were needed to recall Janie Gebhardt.
Ward confirmed his group was able to get more than enough signature within these zones:
“Each one of those 3 zones has been certified, and the trustees have been notified that we have the required amount of signatures, and not only the required amount, but a surplus…we think the electors have spoken through these petitions and through the certification of these petitions, and we recommend that these people resign. That they don’t politicize this. Enough of the electors have spoken to put this on a ballot.”
KID News Radio reached out Dave Mattson, Jackie Cranor and Janie Gebhardt regarding the recall and has not received a response. KID has also contacted Pocatello/Chubbuck School Distrcit 25 for comment and has not received a response.