Richland School Board meeting

Four Richland business owners and managers filed Monday with Benton County Auditor Brenda Chilton to recall Kari Williams, Misipati Semi Bird and Audra Byrd, three of the five members of the Richland School Board.

The petitioners

These Richland residents signed the petition:

*Tony Peurrung, Deputy Director, Science and Technology, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL);

*Brian Brendel, President at Columbia Energy & Environmental Services, Inc.;

*Brad Rew, owner of Gale-Rew Construction; and

*Mike Lawrence, manager of the DOE Hanford Richland Operations Office from 1984 to 1990.

The charges

The four allege that the three members of the school board “… either deliberately or by acting with gross negligence and a wanton disregard for the law, committed the following acts of malfeasance, acts of misfeasance while in office, and violation of his [her] oath of office, and should be recalled and removed from office….”

The Counts

Most of the counts against the three involve their actions to end the mask mandate. They include, having non-public meetings, calling for votes not listed on the agenda, voting to violate the law deliberately and intentionally, voting to exceed their powers as a school board, violating several provisions of the Code of Ethics.

The Process

From Chilton, the petition will go to the Superior Court where a judge will determine if the petition meets legal requirements. If the judge approves at least one of the counts, the petitioners have 180 days to collect signatures.

The law requires signatures from 25 percent of the number of voters that voted for the board members in their last election. That is about 5000 signatures for each school board member.

If the required number of signatures are obtained, an election must be held in 45 to 90 days. Assuming the longest period for each step, the recall could be on the general election ballot in November.