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.
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 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….”
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.
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.
Get ready to sign the petition on each school board member. It’s a feasible goal and can be accomplished.
I am also ready to sign. Thank you to these Community Leaders for stepping up for what is right.
Can hardly wait to sign the petition.
I was excited someone finally stood to the mandate which removed parents and children’s rights to choose what’s best for them. I support them 100%.
Whether you were for or against the mandate is not the point. When they made this decision they put the district out of compliance with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Some of the results of this: 2 days lost school time, parents scrambling for childcare for those two days, potential loss of state funding and a tremendous amount of district resources going in to dealing with this. And we don’t even know yet what kind of legal bills this will cost the district. All of these things and more take away from doing what’s best for kids. What kind of governance is that?
And our governor still has us in a state of emergency. He will not relinquish his emergency powers. No surprise coming from him. He has not lifted the vaccine requirement for state workers and yet the FDA is restricting the use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine because they’ve now admitted it can cause blood clots. And Inslee has never recognized natural immunity! He kept churches and gyms closed and bars and pot stores open! Now, I’m pretty sure the Constitution protects the freedom of religion! Good grief, how insane and unscientific is that? What kind of governance is that? There still is not one peer reviewed study that found masks work. Two years in masks! I have a 5 year old autistic grandson who is just starting to speak a few words. How do you think 2 years of mask wearing affected him? I was at the board meetings watching fathers and mothers cry because their children were in a depressed stated with the ongoing mask requirements, not being able to socialize with their friends and with all the unnecessary disruption to their lives caused by Inslee’s lengthy COVID restrictions. I cried tears of joy when the board voted for mask choice! Did you know the Superintendent did not have a performance review last year and she makes an annual salary of $259,472.00! This salary is 290 percent higher than average and 281 percent higher than median salary in the RSD. She was hired in August of 2020 at $198,000. Wow, $30,000 a year raise for the last two years and she hasn’t had a performance review? The highest paid superintendent the Tri-Cities. Did you know our policies and procedures are out of date at RSD? All five on the RSD board were voted in by the people and they should remain in office. Semi, Audra and Kari are working toward accountability and making positive changes at RSD. We need a balance in our school board as we do in all of government. Because: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!
Candy Jones you and I both!! I will be taking not of these business owners and managers!!
I’m 100 percent supporting Semi, Audra and Keri! The People voted them in office and in office they should remain. The People need and want their diverse voices on the school board. Four prominent men in the community should not have brought the recall petitions forward. Have you noticed three of them are tied to government work at Hanford and PNNL, as is Rick Janson. I’d like to know if Rick had any conversations with these men about this recall. He certainly knows all of them. This recall should be tossed out by the judge. Let the people’s choice remain!
Thank you! I look forward to signing the petitions and hopefully having a school board that can function effectively.
I have my pen standing by to sign the petition.
If this recall goes through I will be voting for Kari, Semi and Audra again. They stood up for our kids! Gov Inslee refuses to give up his emergency powers. Do you realize we are still currently under a state of emergency? Inslee could put us all and our kids back in masks tomorrow. The WA Board of Health said it may in the future take another look at the vax mandate for children. We and these 3 board members are fighting for choice and for freedom whether you realize it or not. This recall petition will further divide the community and is a waste of time and money. All 5 board members were duly elected by the citizens and all 5 should remain in place. I’ve got two grandchildren that are now attending private school and with the way public schools are operating there will be more attending private school.
As I stated at the last RSB meeting, I’m very much against this recall effort. Everyone on the Board were elected by the people. None of them should be removed. I would like to know what type of training these new or even past board members have received with respect to RCW’s and rules violations? Were Board members adequately and properly trained and was that training documented? It’s time to heal the wounds and move on!! This recall will further divide the community, is a waste of time and money. All Board members, employees of the district and citizens should focus on and come together around the common goal of providing our kids with a world class education. I don’t need the public education system to love my gkids. I just want my gkids shown respect, kindness, and I want them to graduate proficient in reading, writing, math, science, history, etc. teach them how to think, not what to think! The same respect and kindness I expect a district to show students is the same level of respect and kindness I’d expect my gkids to show teachers, staff and other students. If we could accomplish proficiency in all grades for reading, writing, math, science, we should be able to agree our kids would be leaps and bounds ahead of those they will have to compete with in the real world.
I would like to request that Brian Brendel, Brad Rew, Michael Lawerence and Tony Peurrung withdraw the petitions they filed before anymore tax payer money is spent and before the community is further divided. It is time to come together and find common ground.
Randi, Why are two of my comments awaiting moderation?
There does not appear to be a letter to Kari Williams like the one you described.
Hi Randy, you responded to me there was no such letter from Brian Brendel to Kari Williams on May, 8th 2022 of him telling her what to say and do about making policy changes so she could redeem herself. That is my opinion of how I read the letter and I believe if you are an unbiased reporter, which I’m hoping and expecting you are, you will read it the same way. Is his letter even legal? Idk, but it shouldn’t be in my opinion. I understand Keri is under a lot of pressure, but she shouldn’t be! Brendel should be ashamed of himself and everyone copied on that letter should have been a profile in courage and spoken out loudly against it. I’m disheartened that local politics can be so dirty, especially coming from a school board. With all due respect to you, your honorable and much needed profession, you should be wanting to do an unbiased investigation. Courageous, factual, honest, unbiased journalists are so badly needed in this country.