Elizabeth Corker

Blaine County School District trustee Elizabeth Corker

A group of residents dissatisfied with Liz Corker’s performance on the Blaine County school board have filed a petition with the county Clerk’s Office to have her removed from her position.

On Jan. 25, Hailey resident and retired Blaine County School District teacher Darlene Dyer, armed with 20 signatures, registered the initial intent to petition to recall Corker.

    A recall is a procedure through which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended. A successful recall petition would initiate a special vote to determine whether that official should remain in office.

    By state law, for a recall vote to be initiated, 20 percent of eligible voters for the office in question from the last election would need to provide their signature for the petition. In this case, that number is 489 required signatures—20 percent of the 2,445 eligible voters from the last school board election from Zone 5, which Corker represents.

    A county official who didn’t want to be named said the group has 75 days from the outset—or by April 8—to collect the required 489 signatures on the petition for it to be officially considered.

    The official also said all of the signatures need to be collected from Zone 5, the area of the county that Corker represents on the board. Zone 5 encompasses east Ketchum and Sun Valley and extends south to cover the northeast corner of Hailey.

    The initial 20 people who put their names on the petition registration are not counted against the 489 total signatures needed and can sign it again, the official said.

    State law requires that a strict process be followed for the potential recall of a public official, and part of the process is that the dissatisfied members of the public initiating the recall must present reasons why they believe the official should be recalled.

    In this case, Dyer and the other 19 people who signed the initial recall registration came up with a list of eight reasons they believe Corker should not be on the school board anymore.

    The group wishes to recall Corker because they claim:

  • She has “failed to demonstrate thoughtful consideration of her constituents’ priorities.”
  • She has “failed to demonstrate transparency in decision making.”
  • She has “failed to demonstrate cohesiveness and is unwilling to accept board majority decisions.”
  • She has “failed to meet monthly with the superintendent and does not articulate any reasoning for her non-support of the superintendent.”
  • She “attempted to dismantle the Finance Committee that she championed by refusing to take the committee’s recommendation, forcing a 4-1 board vote that affirmed the recommendation, and proposed that BCSD staff be removed from the committee.”
  •  She has “failed to adhere to the Trustee Code of Ethics and has proposed that the code regarding not promoting personal agendas be omitted.”
  • Her “focus on self-serving agendas instead of students’ needs and constituents’ priorities is an enormous waste of the board’s valuable time and betrays the trust given her by the taxpayers of Blaine County.”
  • Her “ill-chosen decisions defy the sense of school, community, and pride and are causing harm to the children and community she serves.”

If Dyer and her group can get the required 489 signatures from residents in Zone 5 on the petition—including their own signatures—by April 8, then a special vote would be called to determine whether Corker ought to remain on the board.

Corker declined to comment on the petition Tuesday.

    Corker was originally appointed to the board in July 2013 by a 3-1 vote, with then board Vice Chair Shawn Bennion casting the sole dissenting vote, to replace previous Zone 5 representative Don Nurge, who had resigned the previous month. She would have faced re-election in 2015, but since there were no opponents running against the incumbent trustees, no election was held.

Email the writer: akerstetter@mtexpress.com

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