Letter: Tuesday's recall election important to Billings County
Tuesday the residents of Billings County voted in a recall election for their school board. Regardless of the outcome, I believe some points need to be brought up.
I am a parent of a student and future students and a county resident who voted last summer in the school board elections. I am a resident of District 5, which, with the few residents it has living in it, has had a difficult time finding an interested party to serve on the school board.
Mr. O’Brien had filled that position for a number of years, and for that period of time there had been no opposition to whether or not he resided at his residence in District 5. It was by write-in votes that he was placed again on the board last year, and only after this election did anyone, specifically Mr. Kessel, come forth with opposition to Mr. O’Brien’s board membership.
Anyone who wishes to sit on the county school board has every right to make that known and has the opportunity to petition for their name to be on the ballot. Obviously, that was not done or there would have been a candidate to vote for this past summer for the District 5 seat.
As for the bus route bidding procedures for which Mr. Kessel has made known his concerns and has had personal interest in, I prefer to have the safety and reliability of the contractor be of higher importance than how low their bid may be. As stated in the minutes from the board meeting on June 3, when bids were opened, the bid for route No. 1 was rejected “due to an unsatisfactory history with that contractor,” and the board voted to “rebid the route.” On rebids at the June 22 meeting, again the said contractor’s bid was removed from consideration due to “unsatisfactory history.” Elections were held prior to these meetings on June 1.
This recall election is of importance because the parents should have had their choice in who would best represent them and their students on the school board. We did not have a choice; we had a judge’s order. And personally, if Mr. Kessel wished that badly to be on the school board, then he should have rightfully petitioned to be on the ballot so voters would have been aware of that fact this past summer.
Julie Reis, Fairfield