An effort to recall the chairman and vice-chairman of the School District 9 Board of Directors ended in failure, according to the statistical report from the Jackson County Election Department.
The deadline for obtaining 1,316 valid signatures was July 2. Petitions were originally dated April 2. The election department reported 1,555 signatures were turned in for each of the two petitions. The total number of valid signatures needed on each was 1,316.
The recall of Chair Scott Grissom included 1,089 valid signatures while the petition for Vice-Chair Ted Dole included 1,108 valid signatures. The election department validation of signatures concluded July 12.
Non-registered voters was the major reason for the invalid signatures with 184 (39.4 %) in that category on the Grissom petition and 186 (41.7%) on the Dole petition. The second and third primary reasons for invalidation of the signers was because signatures did not match and they did not reside within the District 9 School District. For Grissom, those figures were 68 and 67 signatures and for Dole there were 57 out of the district and 44 with unmatched signatures.
Altogether there were 13 categories listed for the rejection of signatures.
“On behalf of Scott Grissom and myself, I would like to say a few words about the recall petition,” said Dole. “Scott and I are very pleased that we will continue to protect the taxpayer’s investment in our schools without the disruption of a recall election.”
Dole said, “the current board has supported real progress in our schools. Reading and math skills have improved at every grade level. Our high school earned an Outstanding rating for the first time in the school’s history. We replaced an 80 year old elementary school at no cost to the taxpayer. In addition, we recently ratified a labor contract that will increase instructional time, provide better pay and benefits for employees, and protect a full school year for our students.”
“I am proud of the work that this board is doing for a terrific school district. I look forward to a new school year of progress and success,” concluded Dole, who was re-elected vice-chair of the board. Grissom remains as chair. At the district board meeting July 11, Superintendent Cynda Rickert told those assembled, “as you know recall petitions were filed against Scott Grissom and Ted Dole. We learned that there were not enough signatures to force an election on either board member. This is very good news. It saves the district the cost of an election, estimated at $13,500 – $18,500. This funding can now be focused on education. In addition, a recall election would have diverted board member’s time and energy away from their main job of providing a stable supportive school system for our community. We can now focus on working together to provide an outstanding school year.”
Originally a petition had been taken out to recall a third board member, Mary Ann Olsen; but that petition was not turned in.
Grissom’s term expires June 30, 2013. He has been on the board for 11 years. Dole’s term and that of Olsen continue through June 30, 2015. Each has been on the board for 4 years.