Updated Wednesday, May 5, at 1:35 p.m. with a trustee recall effort in the Idaho Falls School District.
A Nampa School Board member’s position as a trustee will be at stake during the May 18 consolidated election for Canyon County residents. The recall of Kim Rost, the Nampa School District Zone 4 representative, will be on the ballots of people who live in Nampa’s Zone 4.
The sample ballot alleges four reasons why Rost should be recalled:
- As a zone, she is not representing the majority.
- People of the zone have not had their voices heard on numerous occasions.
- Concern about her perceived targeting of Superintendent Paula Kellerer and district office leadership.
- She has demonstrated a lack of leadership.
In her rebuttal, Rost said she has been volunteering with Nampa for 16 years in multiple roles and all of her actions were in accordance with Idaho Laws and Trustee Code of Ethics, with counsel by the Idaho School Boards Association.
In November, Rost questioned coronavirus-related stipends that Kellerer gave to herself and staff members without board approval. On Nov. 12, Nampa paid staff nearly $1.7 million in stipends which came from $8.5 million the district received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Every staff member was told they would receive a stipend worth 2.5 percent of their salary, Kellerer’s bonus was $3,824.
On Nov. 11, Rost and fellow Nampa trustee Allison Westfall engaged in an email conversation regarding concerns about the stipends being given out without board approval.
“I am extremely concerned about this and would like to understand to the extent of is this a fireable offense,” Rost wrote in an email obtained by Idaho Education News.
Rost’s position on the board is scheduled to expire in December 2021.
This marks the second time in the 2020-2021 school year where a Nampa trustee was up for a recall. In the March 2021 special election, Mike Kipp (representing Zone 2) was up for a recall. He kept his seat by a tight margin after getting 53.3% of ‘no’ votes. In that spring election, five trustees were facing recalls, including Idaho Falls’ Elizabeth Cogliati, and Pocatello-Chubbuck trustees Jackie Cranor, Janie Gebhart and Dave Mattson. None of the five trustees who were on the ballot were recalled in March.
To be recalled, a trustee must receive a majority of votes calling for their recall. Recall votes also have to meet or exceed the number of votes that originally put the incumbent into office.
Idaho Falls trustee also facing recall vote
“Dissatisfied” citizens in the Idaho Falls School District are seeking to recall trustee Lara Hill over her votes as a board member in recent months.
Locals point to Hill’s support for a hybrid learning model earlier this school year, calling it “detrimental” to students, a sample election ballot obtained by EdNews reads. “An overwhelming number of citizens and parents have made their desires known to the Board of Trustees regarding the availability of in-person learning.”
The recall effort follows an unsuccessful attempt to oust Idaho Falls trustee Elizabeth Cogliati over the similar issues in March.
Idaho Falls trustees Hillary Radcliffe, who joined Hill and Cogliati in approving a hybrid learning schedule in September, also faced an initial recall effort, East Idaho News reported last month. That effort did not reach that ballot.
Hill defended her positions in a rebuttal statement, which also appears on the sample ballot for May: “I stand behind all the decisions the board has made as they were all made in good faith.”
Hill represents Zone 3, which includes Theresa Bunker, Edgemont, Longfellow, Linden Park and Sunnyside elementary schools. She was elected to the board in November 2019. Her term expires November 2023.