Recall is not an option in Field schools

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

Before the Field Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Beth Coleman, many residents called for the three board members who voted yes to resign.

And afterwards, the angry group walked out pledging to remove Terry Kettering, Donna Karg and Allyson Westover from office.

But recall is not an option for school districts, said Brad Cromes, deputy director of the Portage County Board of Elections.

Cromes said he fielded a call from a "concerned citizen in the Field school district" asking about recalling the three.

After checking the Ohio Revised Code, the Ohio Ballot Handbook, and ultimately, the board's legal counsel, he determined that recall is only permitted by chartered cities and county governments.

"Recall in Ohio is very, very limited," he said.

The only option available to remove a sitting board member is through the general removal provisions spelled out in the Ohio Revised Code. The code only kicks in when there are allegations of misfeasance or malfeasance, such as theft in office, and the board of elections would only tell the petitioners how many signatures would need to be turned in to the Common Pleas Court.

"Historically, those tend not to be very successful," he said.

The point appears to be moot in this case, because Kettering, Karg and Westover all have terms that expire at the end of the year. Any resident of the school district may apply to serve on one of the three open seats, and the only requirement is to get 25 valid signatures on a nominating petition. Petitions are due to the Board of Elections in August.

"It might be a waste of time and energy" if recall were possible, Cromes said.

Coleman remains the superintendent until July 31, which is the end of her contract. A statement by the board states that she "holds continuing contract status as a teacher in the District and retains this status." It is unclear whether she will return to teaching at Field.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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  • The three have done nothing but the job they were overwhelming elected to do. What Mrs. Coleman did is privileged executive session information. The entire problem is simply the power-hungry tea party; people who think they know better than the school Board and refuse to be good citizens of our District.

  • Can anybody explain what the Gang of 3 did or not do, to incur such wrath? What did Ms/Mrs Coleman do or not do? What is the burr under the peoples saddle? What is the truth. Not rumor or gossip. The truth. What is the real problem at Field?