SOS RE-2 Committee: Recall sends message
July 18, 2007
The recall petition for School Board member John DeVincentis was signed by 2,249 voters. In order for his name to be placed on this November’s ballot, 1,933 of those had to pass the stringent legal tests that a serious matter such as this requires. Our eight-person, inexperienced and volunteer committee, along with more than 50 other volunteers, worked exhaustively for the mandated 60 days during which these signatures had to be gathered. Had we had more financial resources to hire staff to compare signatures with their addresses or had we had seven days to contact signers who signed petitions whose staples had come out or were similarly invalidated, we believe the petition would have succeeded.
According to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, 470 signatures were invalidated.
– Incorrect addresses – 167
– Signatures on disallowed petitions – 117
– Not registered – 77
– Valid but duplicated signatures – 29
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– Other – 80
– Signatures withdrawn – 2
These invalidations left the petition 154 signatures short of the required total.
Our committee would like to thank those 2,247 concerned community members who had the courage to take a stand against what we – and they – believe was unacceptable behavior in an elected official. We would like to thank those who carried the petitions for their calm and professional prospective – sometimes in the face of heated confrontations.
While this recall effort was unsuccessful, John DeVincentis and the School Board are now aware that invalidated or not, over 2,000 registered voters believe he should not be representing our district. Most believe the Board should have advised him to resign.
Not much that has transpired over this issue is cause for celebration. Had the recall petition been successful, our committee certainly would not have celebrated. There were no winners here, except possibly the process. We have all – both sides as well as the uncommitted – discussed the issue at length. We are all more aware of the School Board’s actions and goals. We have all formed more definitive opinions regarding board members’ behavior.
We hope the School Board understands that a significant number of the community made an effort to sign this petition. And while those same community members want the district’s focus on our children, a clearer ethical standard to which they will hold their elected officials has emerged. We hope the School Board has heard and will respect the political will and conscience of over 2,200 recall supporters.
SOS RE-2 Committee