Printed on: August 16, 2012

Fremont recall petitions fail

By Joyce Edlefsen
Rexburg Standard Journal

ST. ANTHONY -- Although the petition deadline is drawing near, efforts to recall two Fremont School Board members died weeks ago.

Julianne Hill, who spearheaded the recall after failure of a $2.4 million supplemental levy in May, said it became too difficult to collect the required number of signatures.

The recall petition deadline was Wednesday for trustee Ben Clark and this coming Monday for board Chairman Phil Baker, according to the Fremont County Clerk's Office.

But Hill said the effort stalled, and effectively died, in mid-June.

"The first 20 signatures were a piece of cake," she said.

After the levy failed, Hill, Jennifer Daniels and others quickly secured enough signatures to get past the initial steps in the recall process. The hope was to gather enough signatures to prompt a recall election to allow for another supplemental levy election this fall. But it quickly became apparent that wasn't going to happen.

Hill lives in Clark's zone and carried that petition. Daniels, who lives in Baker's zone, carried that petition.

The petition seeking Baker's recall stated that he did not put his full support behind the defeated supplemental levy. It also said Baker didn't support an after-school grant or another levy election in August.

The petition to recall Clark faulted him for "repeatedly showing he is not representing the goals and desires of his constituents."

Baker hasn't commented on the recall effort.

Clark has said he volunteered for the job and would abide by the voters' wishes.

Hill said she and others will focus on the regular trustee elections in May. Efforts will be made, she said, to find candidates to run for the open positions.