Falcon School District 49 board recall, Colorado 2009

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An effort to recall Kent Clawson and Dean Martin from Falcon School District 49 was defeated.[1]

Both school board members survived the recall. However, shortly after the unsuccessful recall vote was held, Clawson announced his resignation.[2]


The recall effort began a few days after the board attempted to fire the principals of Vista Ridge and Sand Creek high schools. The attempted firings led to discontent among some parents in the district, who then launched the recall effort.[1]

Parent Tom Herald said, "The community is dissatisfied with the board, their lack of communication, their lack of transparency. For years this board has told us we are heading in the right direction and now all of a sudden we're told we need to go in a new direction. So were you lying to us then or are you lying to us now?" Harold asked.[1]

"They do work for us and they are our voice and they need to reflect that voice," said Jackie Vialpando.[1]

Response to criticism

In response to the criticism from parents, Clawson said, "It is surprising. We're one of the most transparent districts in the state."[3]

Clawson said the board had put budget information, including financial information and employee hiring information, on the district website, and that they had tried to fire the two principals due to poor performance by the school.[3]

Path to the ballot

Once the signature collection process began, the recall group had 60 days to collect approximately 3,400 signatures for each board member.[3] Recall supporters began circulating petitions in May 2009 and on July 6, 2009 they submitted 4,371 signatures to recall Martin and 4,357 for Clawson.[4] In mid-July, district officials validated the signatures, however, shortly thereafter local activists began a drive to invalidate the signatures.[5]

The basis for challenging some of the signatures was that a person who had circulated some of the petitions had also signed some of them as a notary.[6] In spite of this technical consideration, it was found that sufficient valid signatures had been submitted to qualify the recall vote for the ballot.

See also