Recall petitions involving three members of the Romulus School Board have received court approval to proceed and signatures are being collected.
The petitions target Board Chair Debi Pyles, Vice Chair Judy Kennard and Secretary Susan Evitts.
The effort was spearheaded by longtime Romulus educator Rita Hampton.
Hampton regularly attends meetings and has been among the most vocal about concerns about the recently fired former school superintendent. Benjamin Edmondson.
Hampton must collect signatures equal to 25% of the number of votes cast in the last general election in the constituency.
Hampton said she needed about 3,000 signatures for each board member.
She has 60 days to collect the signatures that, if successful, will allow the recall vote to appear on the November ballot.
There are approximately 1,000 signatures collected so far on each petition.
It took several attempts for Hampton to get court approval due to the lack of clarity in the language, but she said she was determined to do what she thinks is the right thing for the district.
The News-Herald has contacted the three board members affected by the recall to comment on the petition.
Kennard did not respond.
Evitts responded in writing. Pyles said she agrees with his response and is also signing it.
In the written response, Evitts said their job as board members is to make sure students learn, that taxpayers’ money is properly accounted for, and that schools provide a safe and effective environment for students. prepare for their future.
“At a recent board meeting, we signed an agreement recommitting all of us to these goals,” Evitts’ response said. “It was a formal gesture, acknowledging that the people of Romulus want us to stop bickering and work together for the children.
“Some council members have chosen not to join in this gesture. It is their decision. Some in the district want to continue pursuing an encore. Again, it’s their decision. If they put that much effort into helping the school move forward, our children would reap the benefits. We have left the door open for them to join us in the work that awaits them. We don’t fight. We don’t bicker in public. We’re here for the community school children of Romulus, and we take care of business for them, and that’s it.
She said in the weeks and months ahead, parents in the district will clearly see the challenges, the enormous potential and the plan to achieve some of the important goals that parents have asked them to accomplish.
Hampton has received a lot of support from meeting attendees and many residents have signs on the lawn supporting the recall.
There is also a billboard in the Wayne and Ecorse Roads area supporting the recall and calling on Trustee Nicole German to resign.
Due to recall guidelines that dictate when a board member can be recalled, German was not included as his term ends this year. She is part of what has become a popular 4-3 vote in the district, often siding with Pyles, Evitts, German and Kennard.
Hampton said she didn’t know who donated the lawn signs or installed the billboard, but said she couldn’t be happier to see the support.
All four members of the board of directors have been in step with their voting power on just about every issue relating to shares with Edmondson.
He was placed on paid leave on September 27 as an investigation into the district’s finances was completed.
Pyles initially said she expected the furlough to last a few weeks, but Edmondson was fired on December 29.
He has since filed a lawsuit against the district and Pyles, Evitts, Kennard and German.
Hampton and others said they were outraged by the board, shortly after giving Edmondson a favorable review, then he suddenly seemed to be targeted as the blame for much of the district’s financial woes , many of which were created before he was hired.
They were further irritated when decisions about Edmondson were made without public discussion and without the knowledge of all council members.
Pyles told a meeting she was concerned Edmondson, who she said was not the target of the investigation despite being suspended, had no plan of action to solve the district’s financial problems.
Another council member said that was not accurate.
Hampton offers to bring the recall petition to anyone who wishes to sign it.
“I will continue to fight because this is about the future of our society,” she said.
She can be reached at 734-754-1177.