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Recall of San Juan Island School Board, Washington (2011)

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An effort to recall all 5 members of the San Juan Island School Board in San Juan County, Washington was launched in February 2011.[1] The effort was abandoned in March 2011 after a judge ruled that the recall petition failed to meet the factual and legal requirements in the laws governing recall in Washington.[2]


An initial recall petition targeting the school board members was filed on February 2, 2011 by attorney Nick Powers, who has a child in the school district. Powers says that the board violated Washington's Opens Public Meetings Act in January 2011 when it held a non-sanctioned executive session discussing the resignation of the principal at the elementary school in Friday Harbor.[1]

Powers wrote:

""Petitioner’s position is that the executive session held during the January 18 meeting failed to fall within the narrow allowance for executive sessions which allows board members to evaluate the qualifications of an employee in private..." Power notes in the petition. "Rather, it is Petitioner’s position, that after two and a half hours of heated and emotional public testimony, the Board retired to engineer a way to sell their acceptance of the resignation, not to discuss the specific job-related performance of Principal Pflueger."[1]

San Juan County Superior Court Judge Donald Eaton ruled that the reasons for recall were not sufficient under Washington law.[2]

Path to the ballot

If a judge had found that the recall effort met the legal requirements of the laws governing recall in Washington, recall supporters would have had to collect signatures for each targeted board member equal to 35% of the votes cast in the election when that specific board member was last elected.[1]

See also

External links