Resist the recall itch - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Resist the recall itch

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:00 am

Recall the recent recall effort? That one, aimed at Coeur d'Alene city leadership, ultimately failed but lessons were learned along the way.

The most important lesson learned was this: Recalls are divisive legal alternatives that rip open feelings and render cooperation much more difficult for people on both sides of the issue.

A secondary lesson is that recalls are instruments that should replace normal elections under only the most dire circumstances. We do not believe the recall effort against Coeur d'Alene City Council members warranted that level of political warfare earlier this year, and we do not believe a recall effort against Coeur d'Alene School Board members is warranted now.

While there has been no formal announcement of a recall attempt against the school board, a number of citizens have contacted the newspaper offering that suggestion. We know it's being discussed and debated - around the coffee table if not in front of the schools' trustees.

Heavy investment in a park was the lightning rod for the city dispute; this time, it's the elimination of two controversial educational offerings, the high school International Baccalaureate program and its elementary school equivalent, the Primary Years Programme. The school board has unanimously voted to eliminate IB, offered only at Lake City High School, and PYP, available only at Hayden Meadows Elementary, at the end of the current school year.

In a twist of irony, many of the people who might favor a school board recall election are the same folks who opposed the city recall. Likewise, supporters of the current school board include a number of people who opposed the City Council targets. Perhaps mere consideration of a recall bid against the school board will not be unhealthy for our community - seeing a controversial topic from a very different viewpoint broadens perspectives and can increase understanding.

We don't want to give the possibility of a school board recall effort any more steam than it may already have gathered. Rather, for the immediate future, let's work together the best we can despite some passionate disagreements and save the turmoil, expense and other collateral damage that recall campaigns generate.

If you don't like the decisions of those who are serving you now on the school board, you can start working immediately to have them replaced by citizens you believe would better serve the community and the district's children. That chance will be at the ballot box next May.

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  • milburnschmidt posted at 9:09 am on Tue, Oct 23, 2012.

    milburnschmidt Posts: 1160

    One should always be leery when attempts are made to limit a way to eliminate our rights to address our complaints of govt officials. Im sure they and their supporters are alarmed at the possibilty their actions could be questioned and they taken out of office. They forget that they also wu=ill be denied the same oppurtunity when they are out of office and complaining about their opposition. Democracy can be a pain in the A-- for those in office but thats what our framers intended.. CDPRESS forgets that not only are recalls devisive but so are day to day politics and govt decisions which is more devisive HMMMMMMM.

  • inclined posted at 2:20 pm on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    The long name of the USA is The Constitutional Republic of the United States of America, where the individual still matters and the majority is still rather powerless, by 21st century standards. It seems to me, our editors don’t necessarily have a handle on Representative Republic, and not just them.

    It is said, a “Democracy is rule by befuddled majority of the moment … Democracy is essentially rule of man, many in fact, in which the social goals are to meet the demands of the many which are part of the ruling majority.” You can see immediately how calling our system a democracy alone muddles the waters, and works hard at screwing up the What and Who of our Constitutional Republic.
    Representative(Constitutional) Republics generally limit democracy by placing constitutional limits on the power of any befuddled majority. However, the recall is not one of those “limits”.

    What is said of a "true" Democracy is a system of governance which features every choice being put to every citizen in the form of a vote. That’s what we keep hearing around here and from the same people that wanted a majority vote ruling for the McEuen deal and keeping PYP in our schools.

    In a Representative Republic, the citizens vote for Representatives to make choices on behalf of the citizens. The trick here is, the part of “on behalf of the citizens”. When that citizenry is crying bl.ody murder over what their ill begotten “representative” is doing on their own, the recall is perfect.

    Some practical issues that relate to this article: Recall is a provision of the rule of law in Idaho. It is a privilege and good provision of Election Law. It is therefore not the expression of attempted division or the creating of dissension or discord. Then it would be bad law and needing a remedy. It is rather
    the view of “true Democracy” expectation that sees recall as disparaging. When the Left are in office, they act and believe that the majority of all living souls in the county wanted them in office.

    Recall of Local Officials: In at least 29 states (some sources place this number at 36), recall elections may be held in local jurisdictions. You got it. ID is one such state. Laws governing recall in Idaho: The citizens of Idaho are granted the authority to perform a recall election by the Article VI, Section 6 to all elective officers (excepting judicial officers).

    It is leading and itself divisive to label the recall election process as “hair trigger”.
    It is leading and itself divisive to put the standard of corruption or malfeasance as the least justification for not only the privilege but obligation of the voters to recall as an option.

    I oppose a school board recall, not because every time we do this we get to see the intrigue and machinations of the election process in CdA. I oppose a school board recall because it is guaranteed that money, people, even votes would appear. The money would come from the Unions. The money would be more than we want to smell. The people might eat in our restaurants, and sleep in our motels, but they might not speak English—they speak some dialect of the Chicago family, and it
    ain’t pretty when you don’t capito. What happened in Wisconsin gave some of these people whole new dimension to the meaning of thuggery. I mean, do we have the steel and fabric of Wisconsinites? They sleep on sheets frozen solid from hanging on the line. They drink coffee mixed with antifreeze. They are tough son’s of guns. It might be, the sons of miner tough, lumber tough, union tough people have died out here, and left us with too many California immigrants that are simply and profoundly happy having escaped the failed state of Mexifornia and hear, see and speak no evil, really. When they see the United Nations flag on the poles, then, then they might be alarmed. Too many of the home grown, live and let live, and don't bother with the definition of "live". The Left are active and vocal in the papers, and seem more in number than they are. But they have "relatives". They will come. Call friends in Wisconsin if you don't believe me. The point. When people would say the school board is acting on their own, the accusation really means, they are listening to constituents, and not special interest and union subterfuge.

  • Humanist posted at 10:15 am on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    Humanist Posts: 3163

    I would not support a recall in this situation or any other situation unless legal malfeasance had taken place. Just because people aren't happy about the decisions that OUR elected officials have made does not warrant a divisive recall attempt. If there are improprieties made by our elected officials, those of course should be investigated using the proper legal procedures already in place. If the actions of any of our school board members meet that criteria, then they should absolutely be investigated.

    Reasonable people use our normal electoral process to replace elected officials that we don't agree with. That's what we should do here if we are unhappy with the school board.

  • parent posted at 9:05 am on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    parent Posts: 347

    Our board is wonderful and I fully support them as do MANY, MANY others. This small vocal group who are angry will just have to put on their big people pants and find a happy place. Your small group sounds tough but you have already proven yourselves not fit for any position on the board. : )

  • Adamsfly posted at 8:32 am on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    Adamsfly Posts: 46

    The two, and only elected, members aren't up for reelection until 2014. I'm not in favor of the recall, but it sounds like you're scared.
    Be prepared, there is a ground swell starting that is going to clean house starting with
    Purtee in May.

  • Brent Regan posted at 7:50 am on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 663

    So the facts are: The school board is up for reelection in May.

    A recall effort takes thousands of man hours, costs thousands of dollars, takes several months to execute and is by nature divisive.

    IF the recall effort were successful the board would likely be up for election in…….wait for it……..drum roll…….MAY (or maybe later).

    If the recall was successful it is likely that the mechanism for installing new board members would be by appointment. How did that work out last time?

    Applying critical thinking skills we see that a recall as not a viable option.

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