Dr. D recall petitions filed | SteamboatToday.com

Dr. D recall petitions filed

Group submits 2,307 signatures to force DeVincentis on ballot

Mike McCollum

— The potential recall of Steamboat Springs School Board member John DeVincentis moved a step closer Monday to being on the November ballot.

The group working to recall DeVincentis filed petitions containing 2,307 signatures with the Routt County Clerk and Rec-

order’s office. The total is more than the 1,933 signatures needed to force the recall, but the group anticipated some of the signatures would be challenged and invalidated.

“It’s now out of our hands,” said Paula Stephenson, a former School Board president and one of several leaders of the Save Our Schools RE-2 group that spearheaded the recall effort.

DeVincentis said Sunday he is focused on pressing school issues and is not concerned with the recall effort. After the petitions were turned in Monday, he said he stands by his previous statements and had nothing further to add.

The group has collected signatures since early May, following the public release of e-mails DeVincentis wrote about former superintendent Cyndy Simms during 2004-05, his final year as principal at Strawberry Park Elementary School.

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Sherry Wofford, Routt County Chief Deputy Clerk, said the clerk and recorder’s office has 10 days to determine if enough of the signatures are valid to place a recall on the ballot. It would be the first recall election of any kind in Routt County since 1986.

“The first step is a quick count to see if they have the 1,933 signatures needed for the recall,” she said. “Then we check the circulators’ information. Then, we go through and individually check the names on the petition with our voter registration file.”

If it is determined that 1,933 or more of the signatures are valid, a 15-day protest period ensues during which DeVincentis can challenge signatures. Protests are resolved in district court.

Members of the SOS RE-2 group said they tried to get as many signatures as possible, anticipating anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of the signatures would be invalidated. The group finished with 19.3 percent more signatures than required.

“The most common mistake is typically listing post office address boxes for an address instead of the place of residence,” Wofford said.

Citizens for Fair Politics, a local group that opposes the recall effort due to ethical concerns about how the e-mails were obtained, campaigned against the recall effort. Wofford said the group, or any person in the community, also could challenge the signatures.