Recall petition to begin circulating |

Recall petition to begin circulating

— A group calling itself “Save Our Schools RE-2” will begin circulating petitions to recall Steamboat Springs School Board member John DeVincentis after an informational meeting Thursday night.

Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland said she approved the 175-word petition after it was submitted last week, allowing the group to begin circulating the petition.

“We corrected some of the formatting, but we essentially approved the petition that was submitted to us,” Weinland said Tuesday.

The committee, comprised of a group of former School Board members and city officials, is hosting an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Olympian Hall to discuss the future of the recall and to let people know how to get involved.

Former School Board president and S.O.S. RE-2 committee member Paula Stephenson said the petition’s wording “reads exactly like the group submitted with no real significant changes.”

Pat Gleason, a committee member and former School Board member, said he expects the meeting to last about an hour.

“I hope anyone with an interest in (the recall) shows up,” he said.

S.O.S RE-2 aims to recall DeVincentis based on what its members say is his “pattern of conduct” throughout the years. That conduct includes sending a series of e-mails harshly critical of former school district Superintendent Cyndy Simms. DeVincentis sent the e-mails during his final year as Strawberry Park Elementary School principal in 2004 and 2005.

Gleason gained access to the e-mails during his tenure on the School Board and gave the e-mails to the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Gleason resigned from the board the day before the newspaper published a story about the e-mails.

DeVincentis has publicly apologized for the e-mails.

Former Parents for Dr. D chairman Jim Swiggart said S.O.S. RE-2 is waiting for Thursday’s “kick-off” party to start soliciting the 1,933 valid signatures it would take to move the recall effort forward to a vote.

“We’re hoping to get the people interested the information they’ll need to be involved,” Swiggart said. “There will be a petition available for people to sign after the meeting, and we’ll also have petitions available for people who want to carry them.”

The committee has raised about $4,000 for the recall effort, Swiggart said.

All petitions must be turned into the Clerk and Recorder’s Office by July 2, at which point the Clerk’s Office has 30 days to validate the signatures. DeVincentis then would have 15 days to protest any of the signatures, Weinland said.

“Right now we’re taking the process step by step,” she said.

DeVincentis, who has said he is no longer talking to the newspaper, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

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