Critics of both the Blaine County School District’s administration and trustees will host a town hall-style meeting today, June 3, from 6-7 p.m. at the Mountain Humane Education Barn in Hailey to voice opposition to district leadership—in particular, Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes.

     On Friday, organizers changed the venue from the Wood River Inn in Hailey to accommodate a larger crowd.

     The agenda lists teachers, “community leaders” and a surprise guest as speakers, followed by an open microphone for attendees, according to Cynthia Cignero, of the opposition group I-Care, who is helping to organize the event. I-Care will select the speakers, fellow organizer Debbie O’Neill said in an email.           

     At least a pair of state-level elected officials also plan to attend, but not speak. Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, a Republican, will be there “purely to listen,” a spokesman for McGeachin told the Idaho Mountain Express. So will District 26 Rep. Muffy Davis, D-Ketchum.           

     “I’m not there supporting any one side,” Davis said. “I’ll just be there to listen, noting that this is not my jurisdiction whatsoever. This is with the school board—it’s a local issue.”

     Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, was also invited, but will be out of town for a personal obligation.

     “While many in the valley may disagree on executive comp, teacher comp, budgeting, curriculum and other such tactical matters, we all agree it is important for everyone’s voice to be heard and everyone should feel free to express their opinion without fear of retribution,” Cignero told the Idaho Mountain Express in an email. “Under [GwenCarol Holmes], that is not the case. That is not acceptable, and that—as history instructs—will never move us forward.

     “When all the stakeholders—students, teachers, parents and citizen/taxpayers—are effectively silenced, as they now are, you get this meeting: a true grassroots, nonpartisan cry for help.”

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