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The following is the petition language that was submitted to the Routt County Clerk and Recorder's Office on Tuesday:
Since being elected to the RE-2 Board of Education, John DeVincentis has engaged in a pattern of conduct that has interfered with the orderly and civil operation of the Board. He has offended, insulted, and/or intimidated other members of the board, the district staff and the public. The lack of character exhibited and language used in his 2004-2005 e-mails further illustrates a behavior pattern that is unacceptable in the position of a school board member.
John DeVincentis has lost the respect and trust of this community, and because of his actions the District may be in jeopardy of losing the ability to attract and retain talented teachers and administrators. The RE-2 School District faces many challenges in desperate need of attention. Those issues cannot be properly addressed with John DeVincentis in office.
The RE-2 School District deserves a Board composed of impartial, fair-minded citizens who are able to conduct the business of the district in the best interest of the students. John DeVincentis' past and present actions as well as his unwillingness to resign have demonstrated his desire to place his own interests above those of the students.
Vote YES to recall John DeVincentis.
A committee calling itself "Save Our Schools RE-2" submitted petition language Tuesday seeking to recall John DeVincentis from the Steamboat Springs School Board.
The committee submitted the petition language to the Routt County Clerk's Office.
Pat Gleason, one of the committee members and a former School Board member, said the group has taken the time it needed to get the petition in order.
"We're moving forward with this civil exercise," he said. "People have been wondering what's going on, but we needed to take to make sure we were doing everything legally and taking the appropriate measures."
Others involved in the recall effort include former School Board members Paula Stephenson, Jim Gill and Tom Miller-Freutel and former Parents for Dr. D chairman Jim Swiggart. The committee plans to host an open planning meeting about the recall effort at 7 p.m. May 10 in Centennial Hall.
Gleason sent the petition language to the Steamboat Pilot & Today, calling for the community's support to recall DeVincentis based on his past actions, which included sending a series of e-mails harshly critical of former school district Superintendent Cyndy Simms. The e-mails were sent by DeVincentis during his final year as Strawberry Park Elementary School principal in 2004-05.
Gleason gained access to the e-mails during his tenure n the School Board and gave the e-mails to the Pilot & Today. Gleason resigned from the School Board the day before the newspaper published a story about the e-mails.
DeVincentis "has engaged in a pattern of conduct that has interfered with the orderly and civil operation of the Board. He has offended, insulted and/or intimidated other members of the board, the district staff and the public," the petition claims. "John DeVincentis' past and present actions as well as his unwillingness to resign have demonstrated his desire to place his own interest above those of the students."
In the e-mails, DeVincentis admits he lied to Mercer Island School Board members about Simms, made suggestions how to undermine Simms and made personal attacks on her character and her family.
DeVincentis has publicly apologized for the e-mails, saying he is a different person now than he was when he wrote the e-mails. DeVincentis also held three public forums in April to address the public and answer questions about the e-mails.
DeVincentis and School Board President Denise Con-nelly did not return calls seeking comment about the recall Tuesday.
Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland said she has 48 hours to approve the petition before the group can begin circulating copies to secure the 1,933 signatures it would require to recall DeVincentis.
"The only thing we're approving is to make sure all the blanks are filled in and complete," she said. "It protects the petitioner more than anything so they don't start circulating their petitions prematurely."
Once approved, the committee has 60 days to secure signatures from registered school district voters. The people who choose to sign the petition do not have to live in DeVincentis' District 5, which includes much of the school district outside city limits.
If DeVincentis' recall is successful it would be the first Weinland has seen during her tenure as clerk.
"This is the first time we've ever gotten this far," she said. "We've had a lot of discussion (recalling) other people but this is the first time anyone has ever formed a committee to recall an official."
-To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org