Greg Richards and Thomas Willetto recall, Peak to Peak Charter School, Colorado (2014)

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A vote about whether to recall Greg Richards and Thomas Willetto from their positions on the Peak to Peak Charter School Board of Directors in Colorado took place from January 3, 2014, through January 15, 2014.

Richards and Willetto were retained in their seats. Recall supporters failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to remove board members from office. Only 62.5 percent voted to recall Richards and 58.8 percent voted to recall Willetto.[1]

Election results

Shall Greg Richards be recalled from the Peak to Peak Board of Directors?
Approveda Recall36162.46%
Election results via: Daily Camera (January 16, 2014)
Shall Thomas Willetto be recalled from the Peak to Peak Board of Directors?
Approveda Recall39962.64%
Election results via: Daily Camera (January 16, 2014)

Recall supporter arguments

The recall effort was triggered by the firing of principal Noelle Roni in November 2013. Roni argued that she was fired after asking cafeteria workers to stop stamping the hands of children who ran out of funds from free lunch accounts.[2] Sarah Miley was among several district parents to organize Concerned Parents of Peak to Peak, a group dedicated to recalling Richards and Willetto.[3] Richards and Willetto are the two longest serving members of the board and Willetto serves as the board president. If the recall was successful, organizers endorsed Matthew Hill and Lisa Blumensaadt as new board members.[4]

Petition language

The recall petitions submitted to the school's election commission on December 4, 2013, listed the following reasons for removing Richards and Willetto:[4]

  • Creating an uncertain work environment, jeopardizing retention of current teachers and administrators, and recruitment of the same caliber teachers and administrators.
  • Abuse of bylaws and established procedures by:
    • Circumventing the HOD process when appointing the current Executive Director of Education.
    • Circumventing the community voting process when appointing Brad Elliot to a vacant seat.
  • Creating a clear conflict of interest by allowing an employee named in a personnel dispute to terminate the employee who brought the claim to HR, and failure to seek 3rd party arbitration to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
  • Exposing the school to financial loss and reputational damage due to possible legal actions.
  • Failure to act with transparency.
  • Continued disregard for community concerns.
  • Failure to plan for or take action to handle the PR problems associated with an ill-timed termination.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Colorado

Recall organizers were required to submit signatures equaling 10 percent of eligible voting members at Peak to Peak. Eligible voters in Peak to Peak Charter School elections include parents with children at the school as well as full-time employees. The organizers submitted enough petitions to trigger a recall vote on December 4, 2013. The school's election commission held the election by print and electronic voting between January 3 and January 15, 2014. Each employee received one vote while each parent received one vote per child enrolled at the school. The board bylaws require a two-thirds majority to remove a sitting member from office.[5]

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