BREAKING: Recall Campaign Initiated Against Jeffco School Board Conservative Majority

UPDATE: More information at the recall campaign’s new website, Jeffco United For Action.

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Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

Ken Witt, John Newkirk, Julie Williams (WNW).

As announced in a press release sent out moments ago–Jefferson County residents have begun the process of gathering signatures to recall all three right-wing majority members of the Jefferson County Board of Education this fall:

Today, Wendy McCord a stay-at-home mother of three Jeffco students, along with Michael Blanton a Jeffco father and attorney, and Tina Gurdikian a Jeffco mother of two students and an environmental compliance specialist submitted language to the Jefferson County Clerk’s office to recall the three Jeffco School Board Majority Members – Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams.

“We can no longer wait! The Board Majority Members are taking away the opportunity for our Jeffco students to succeed by failing to do what we elected them to do, represent the voice of the entire community and not just those who voted for them. The Board Majority Members regularly disregard input from the community and district staff, including their solo pick for superintendent, Dan McMinimee. The Board Majority Members have gone so far as to limit public comment, and take up to a year to respond with shallow form letters to emails submitted to the Board by their constituents. In the case of facility needs to address increasing enrollment in the north, Board Majority Members have left families in a state of stressful limbo wondering where their children will attend school,” stated Tina Gurdikian.

“The language we submitted as the grounds for recall today clearly outlines why the Board Majority Members are not suited to continue in their elected roles. For over a year, the Board Majority Members have made decisions behind closed doors and violated their own rules as well as state and federal laws. All of this secrecy and lack of transparency has resulted in over 700 educators and countless families leaving Jeffco Schools – this is unacceptable,” continued Wendy McCord.

“Between the broken promises to voters, violating open meeting laws and privacy laws and wasting taxpayer money, I as a Jeffco voter felt it was time to stand up and put an end to the chaos that has overtaken our school board. The board majority members have consistently exhibited a fundamental disrespect for Jeffco parents and students, and their attitude and actions will only cause our students to fall behind their peers, locally, nationally and globally,” concluded Michael Blanton.

#jeffcoschoolboardhistory

#jeffcoschoolboardhistory

The first step in the process is to submit the recall petition to the Jefferson County Clerk for approval, which was done today. Once that’s done, there’s a 60-day timetable for gathering 15,000 recall petition signatures per seat. That timetable should put the recall election on the ballot this November–the same time as the two minority seats on the board will be up as well.

Meaning the best-case scenario is a clean sweep of the Jefferson County Board of Education–needless to say, a game-changing reversal of fortunes.

In today’s press release, organizers cite the hiring of a “novice superintendent,” Douglas County’s Dan McMinimee, at a much higher salary than his more qualified predecessor–as well as a general lack of transparency by the board majority, and the disastrous attempt by the board last year to “review” the district’s AP History curriculum to ensure it conforms with board members’ right-wing political views. These actions along with other ugly incidents that generated negative press for the board in recent months, say organizers, have directly contributed to the massive spike in teacher turnover at Jeffco schools in the last year.

As of now, “WNW” are on notice: the students, teachers, and parents of Jeffco have had enough.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    Wow! With all things happening here in Colorado, around the country and in our Supreme Court do I feel the earth shifting? Is the rightie reign of terror finally sputtering to a close? Wish I could sign! Except for the having to live in Jeffco part.

  2. JeffcoBlue says:

    YES!!! Now I know how I am spending my summer and fall.

    Let's take back our schools, Jeffco!

  3. JeffcoDemo says:

    Just when i thought the news couldn't get any better today, another shoe falls on the stupid.

    I am all in on this campaign, something I can really get my heart and soul around.

    Says the father of two in JeffCo Schools.

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    Where can I find a petition to sign………

  5. Chickenheed says:

    WOOHOO! Let's do this! 

    Go to http://jeffcounitedforaction.org/ to sign up to the email list and let them know how you can help.

    This Jeffco father can't wait to get those petitions signed!

  6. notaskinnycook says:

    I'm in Denver, so no help on this issue, but can this day/week possibly get better? Except for the rough weather here  and the ugliness with the church, it’s been a pretty great one.

  7. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I live in Jeff Co, but won't sign the petition. Is there a plan for moving forward, if the recall is successful? Or are they just "anti" and maybe still pissed off because their side got wiped out in Nov., 2013.

    It will be an uphill battle. The size of the victory margins tells me that many Jeff Co citizens voted against a stagnant status quo. Lest some have forgotten, here are the election results:

    Julie Williams   61%  to 38.9%; Ken Witt  58.1% to 41.8%; John Newkirk  53.9% to 46%.  

    I wish them luck. And since I haven't been all that impressed with the Witt 3, my vote may go to the other side if there are credible candidates.   C.H.B.

     

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I have no idea what the "warning" is all about, and the edit function did not work to get rid of it.

      The warning about lines & spacing disappeared after I left the site and came back in.

    • BlueCat says:

      School board elections are largely ignored so a motivated group can make for a very lopsided election. Doesn't mean much about the strength or breadth of public support. Most of the public isn't paying attention. Recalls are also elections in which a small motivated core can be enough to win. See the gun safety motivated recalls. So if you like what this board has been doing, by all means don't sign. I suspect a whole lot more people are paying attention now than back when these people ran in the first place. The question is how many and how motivated do they feel to kick the wackos out.

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