Recall signatures valid

Thursday, August 25, 2011

TRENTON, Nebraska -- Petition circulators have obtained enough valid signatures to force recall elections for three Hitchcock County, Nebraska, Public Schools board of education members.

County Clerk Margaret Pollmann said this morning that her office finished certifying signatures Wednesday, and she notified school board members Mike Baker, Larry Ferguson and Gary Matson and school superintendent Mike Apple of the results by certified mail.

Petition circulators needed to get valid signatures from at least 175 registered voters on each of the three petitions.

The school board must now schedule the election within 30 to 45 days of the notification. Pollmann said the earliest the election can happen is Nov. 8.

The election will cost the school district approximately $5,000 for ballot printing, publication notices and wages for poll workers.

Earlier this year, a $7.4 million Hitchcock County school bond issue passed by 15 votes.

View 46 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • So why are they attempting to recall them?

    -- Posted by love2liveinmccook on Thu, Aug 25, 2011, at 10:30 PM
  • Ironcat, all petitions have a legal process to go through if they are to be considered by a govermental agency. Just having people sign a piece of paper and presenting it to a governmental agency does not make it a legal document.

    -- Posted by dennis on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 11:26 AM
  • This is not democracy in action. Democracy is basically where the majority rules. The Hitchcock County school district voted, with a majority, their wishes on how the future of their school district will run. We may not agree with it, but the majority does rule.

    The recall in this case is the minority trying in vain to force their way through intimidation. Hopefully, they will fail.

    So Hitchcock County School patrons, vote with your brains, the school's future depends on it.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 11:54 AM
  • The petition was circulated after a failed attempt to have the historical society block the demolition of the Culbertson school site which was part of the bond.

    Either way it is a waste of tax payers money.

    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 12:38 PM
  • It appears that ironcat is siding with the petition circulators.

    Based on that knowledge alone, my vote is to keep the board intact.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 12:46 PM
  • Yes, waiter, I'll have a run-on sentence with a side of mis-spelling, please. I feel like having heart-burn tonight.

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 2:13 PM
  • Everyone is entitled to their opinions and thank the Lord that we are free to do so.

    The recall election will let EVERYONE voice their opinions as if they want to retain these said board members or not. Does'nt matter why they are beind recalled (said pepitioners gathered enough signatures).

    Its this simple.... If you want them to stay on the school board, then vote no. If you want them recalled, then vote yes. ITS THAT SIMPLE.

    The people of Hitchcock County WILL have their say, and that is the AMERICAN WAY !!! Once again, THANK GOD THAT WE HAVE THIS RIGHT

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 4:37 PM
  • ,,, .... !!!! o u :;


    -- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 4:37 PM
  • "Yes all potions have a legal way they must be done that is another fact"

    bubble bubble toil and trouble

    grins and glee ;)

    -- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 4:43 PM
  • "Does'nt matter why they are beind recalled (said pepitioners gathered enough signatures)."

    If it didn't matter, then why did 175+ people find it necessary for the tax payers to spend $5,000 in a special election?

    I beg to differ, it does matter.

    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 4:46 PM
  • The aggenda of the man responsible for the start of this petition is quite an entertaining one to say the least.

    First bond he fought on the idea of cost. Stating that it was way to high and needed to be lower. Obviously a majority agreed when you look at the results of first vote (myself being one).

    After a few months of going back and cutting cost to the bond the school board presented a plan near the cost that was asked for. Then this particular person decided oh wait no we need just one school site. Apparently cost didn't matter anymore as the one school sight if I remember correctly was around 1.7 million more and with some other additions, some patrons expressed that they wanted in a 1 school system, would have spiked it up almost another million above that.

    It was then decided to vote on the cheapest plan presented considering that was the main factor that stopped the first bond was cost. The second bond passed by around 15 votes. Although this was not a major win it was still a majority, and with a small population any bond was bound to be close.

    Now with the failed attempt to halt yet another bond this person decided to try and have the historical society block the demolition. Apparently this person failed to read the bond closely before voting and didn't realize this was part of the bond. So another failed attempt at blocking this bond.

    Now the recall election is targeting board members who were the most active and helpful during the bond discussion (outside of board meetings).

    From what I can see all this person is trying to do is see the school district dissolve. This person already sends his kids to McCook and openly said at a board meeting no matter what the school did his kids would stay in McCook. All that he seems to be doing is causing problems between both communities rather then making them better. He uses scare tactics and aggression to try and get his way. He feels the louder he speaks or the more he flexes people will bend to his will. It is truely sad that people still take him serious enough to listen to him anymore. I hope the patrons of the district wake up and do what is right and not cave to such childish behavior.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 4:50 PM
  • Oh my goodness... A spelling error or two !! Really does that make one ignorant? Nope, just human. I guess that if that is all that you gathered from my comment, you are not listening.

    175+ people felt that this matter needed to be looked at AND that is their American right.

    ochosinco, you also have the right to voice your opinion, and that is what makes America great.

    Bless each soldier who gave us those rights, and be respectful to each others opinions until this is settled.

    Vote your opinion, and quit degrading others for theirs.

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 5:19 PM
  • So sanecomments what will be your next approach if this one fails??

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 5:34 PM
  • Doing something just because they can doesn't explain WHY they did it.

    So tell me why did 175+ people feel it was necessary to spend $5,000 in a special election?

    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 5:36 PM
  • It is my understanding that many of these people were not read the petition and did not totally understand what they signed up for. (This, by the way, is against the law.) I don't believe that these people really want the board members recalled, only that someone gave them a paper to sign and so they signed it. To say that the petition signers have issues with these board members is crazy. The three recalled members have been on the board for an average of 10 years (each). The signatures I've read are of people who have attended one, maybe two board meetings in the past six months. They have nowhere near enough experience with the members' voting records to agree with the claims made on the petitions.

    Once again, instead of just stating the real reason for doing something, the petition circulator lied and manipulated the HC patrons.

    -- Posted by Parent of a HC Student on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 5:49 PM
  • Another thing sanecomments. Why is it said person either changes the subject or goes silent as soon as anyone asks them for some facts or ask a simple question about reasoning. The answer is always I am entitled to my opinion or I know the truth. During the bond discussion no facts supporting his arguement were ever presented just silence. Seems the same is going on with the recall petition.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:02 PM
  • I am not a council member and I have not made fun of anyone. I have only stated the facts. If you couldn't gather by my signature my name is Lanny Carlson. I do not believe my name was mentioned in the article and I have never been a board member. I am just a parent of three students that attend the school and am getting fed up with a few trying to drive a wedge between the communities when we should be coming together to ensure that these kids gets the best education availible. This $5,000 could have bought more books, computers, and tons of other resources instead it will be used for a recall election that is the result of 1 person not getting their way.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:10 PM
  • Ironcat, why would one offer an opinion they weren't prepared to defend on a subject they said didn't matter to begin with?

    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:12 PM
  • carlsonl, since you ASSUME that you know how I am voting (and only for this reason), I will tell you that I will vote to RETAIN each of these board members. My point is that we (as americans) have many rights and avenues that we are allowed to take if we are unsatisfied with things. Do I support this recall, NO. But I also know that my family has lost many loved ones, fighting for their right to circulate this petition.

    Parent of a HC student- I also saw the petition and it stated very clearly what you were signing. If people signed without actually reading it, then maybe they should'nt be allowed to vote in the first place.

    I take my rights very seriously and even though I dont always agree with things, I will never demean or degrade anyone who has an opposing opinion. They are entitled to it and this is one of the things that make the United States of America a great place to live. Let's never forget that

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:16 PM
  • lanny... I commend you for your opinions and the way that you present most of them. What you see as 1 person, I see as 175+.

    I know that Shane can be very vocal about his opinions (tactful way to put that,yes?) but you know it upfront.

    What really bothers me about most of this is the people hiding in the glass houses !!! I saw a facebook converstation that tore my gut, between two upstanding citizens, who were calling anyone who opposed the original election hillbillys and ignorant !! Imagine my surprise when one of them was a teacher who commented " and I am supposed to teach these hillbillies kids!!"

    That is why I am trying to remind people that agree or disagree... you have the right to do so, but please be respectful of others opinions

    That person should be looking for a job !!

    -- Posted by sanecomments on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:29 PM
  • I am not saying I don't believe in his right to the petition, I am saying I don't believe in his apparent reasoning. Although I can only assume what this is because of what I read at the beginning of this petitioning none of what he said about each board member was even remotely true. I know for a fact this person was mad because Mike Baker attended a pro bond gathering and offered facts, and when approached by this person kindly offered to attend a gathering for those against the bond and offer the facts as well. Anyway, giving reasons or facts about your stance or grievence goes along way if gaining the respect of others and might even help you cause. Standing silently by while causing problems isn't an issue of rights, but an issue of aggenda.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Aug 26, 2011, at 6:34 PM
  • sanecomments - The circulator of the petition was suppose to read it to the person signing.

    And I would like to see a copy of that facebook conversation.

    -- Posted by Parent of a HC Student on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 8:40 AM
  • It seems like you are all pinning this on one particular person, when in reality, there are more people directly involved in the acquisition of the petition signatures. These other people are suddenly very quiet and are content to let one person take all the heat.

    While I do not agree with the reasons for each board member being recalled, it is even worse that the school district now has to pay $5000 to fund this revenge scheme. Maybe those of you who signed the petition should split up the $5000 and pay for this voting opportunity. Did you even realize that cost would fall on the district?

    What happens if all three members are recalled? The district must pay another $5000 to hold an election to find three replacements. So, this petty attempt at revenge could take away $10,000 from the education of all the kids at HC. THANKS! As a parent and taxpayer, that really ticks me off! The courthouse will always be in Trenton and WE ARE THE FALCONS! Get over it!

    -- Posted by angrybird22 on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 9:21 AM
  • Can anyone who has seen the petition please inform me of the reasons for the recall? Is there a way to see the petition?

    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 1:06 PM
  • Ironcat, not trying to correct you because I myself make mistakes when it comes to making a comment (usually spelling), but please break up your comments a bit so they are easier to read.

    It seems like you are all pinning this on one particular person, when in reality, there are more people directly involved in the acquisition of the petition signatures. These other people are suddenly very quiet and are content to let one person take all the heat.

    Thats funny because the main person behind this got notorized so that he may notorize all signatures. Therefore if you know for a fact that he wasn't present at all the signings then that would make every signature he was present at invalid on the petition. Unless, the others helping him are also certified in that case would like to know who they were so that it can be checked that they are certified. Another thing if Shane notorized signatures he wasn't present for when signed that is a crime and deserves punishment.

    Hitchcockmom, I believe all were in the hitchcock county paper a month or so ago, and you are also allowed to view or buy a copy at the clerks office.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 5:46 PM
  • Ironcat, you admit you don't know too much about the details, then what gives you the right to act "holier than thou" and automatically believe we're infringing on the recall supporters' rights? I have a right to disagree with them just as much as the supporters have a right to support the recall.

    In fact, my husband and son both gave their lives in defense of this great country. So wave your flag in someone else's face who doesn't get it. Once again, you've missed the point.

    -- Posted by angrybird22 on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 7:51 PM
  • I think you nailed that one on the head Angrybird.

    I appreciate your familys service to our country and I am sorry for your loss.

    -- Posted by bberry on Sat, Aug 27, 2011, at 8:25 PM
  • ?,.,...

    putemwheryounedum ironcat

    -- Posted by boojum666 on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 8:53 AM
  • I have read through all the coimments and still have no idea why this recall is happening. Ironcat with your rants against the rich and the obvious class envy you seem to subscribe to if you are for the recall it certainly makes me lear towards a no vote.

    Ochosinco why do you post that stupid Just Sayin thing it really is annoying. I wonder if you say know whut I meen at every third sentence too?

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 10:36 AM
  • Ironcat I think you are failing to understand our point. We are not trying to take away his right to petition we are just stating we don't agree with the reason behind it and feel the money could be used in a better way. But, when it comes down to it he used his right to petition, and now it will be up to the voting population to agree or disagree with him.

    As far as the name calling I haven't seen any of that in the last 24hours or so. I think angrybird is trying to point out that you are acting like you are above us by arguing a point that hasn't even been brought up in the comments.


    There is a difference please realize this and you will save yourself some heartburn and frustration.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 10:39 AM
  • "we are going to keep the constitution so get over it you cant take it away no matter what excuse you give"

    I try hard to understand where you are coming from Ironcat, but I do not believe this was ever in question.

    I've not seen a post that denied or refuted any given right, but rather question the judgement and reasoning behind such actions.

    As a side note, thanks for seperating the prior post it makes it much easier to read.

    -- Posted by bberry on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 10:39 AM
  • Do you even read the remarks?? I said in the last 24 hours. I also meant any remarks that had to do with the subject. 666 is just trolling ignore that. As far as having a right to know, I think you should think about this one a bit. He may not lawfully have to reveal why he has made up the lies about the 3 board members (the lies were the letters he sent in to get the petition rolling), but do you really want people running around spreading slander and lies about you? There is a fine line between using the laws of this great country and abusing them in the name of revenge.

    Anyway, there really isn't going to be anything resolved talking to you because obviously you aren't quite getting what I am saying. Hope you have a good day.

    As for the upcoming vote, I hope all voters within the school district take an indepth look at this situation and make an informed vote.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 2:07 PM
  • Wow I cant believe the ignorance of some of these people.I have visited with the people that carried the petitions and the reasons for the recall are very legit and factual. The recall has nothing to do with the bond, it passed the people spoke great let it go. These board members have lied during that process and since then have not done the district any good. A recall simply states that there is a problem in a public office and this is one thing that can be done to correct that or bring it to the public attention. The people who signed that petition wanted the vote to go back to the people. Baker,Ferguson and Matson can still get voted back in if the people vote that way. I know that these board members told lies and never presented the entire facts, and continue to deny what their sworm duty tells them to do. Shane rippen was called a bully in both papers by Mike Baker that is appalling. Now how bad does that look when over 200 people sign his petition? Is Mike going to call all of them names? Mr. Rippen and many others must have a good claim for this recall alot of people signed it I didnt but wish I would have now. We will see what kind of people the board members are now. In the first week of school the superintendent is calling/stopping by to see people and ask them why they signed a petition. this has nothing to do with the superintendent this is money wasted for those of you that are concerned with money, he should be running the school and figuring out why the numbers are dropping when he promised the people they are rising not worrying about who signed and who didnt.Board members are calling people as well and pitching a fit about why they signed, this is ridicouls if you have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide let it go, if you are guilty then keep acting guilty. I am sure everyoue that reads this knows or has known someone that has fought for our freedome who helped to give us this checks and balance system so people can be held accountable. thank them it will hopefully pay off in small town USA.

    -- Posted by Iron Man on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 10:44 PM
  • I must say, this is one compelling story Iron Man. However, this story reeks of hearsay, innuendo, and make believe. I know these school board members and the superintendent, and this is completely out of their characters.

    Can you offer any proof to the contrary?

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Aug 28, 2011, at 11:09 PM
  • resin and reason aren't even homonyms but spell-check won't catch it resin is a kind of amorphous liquid obtained from plants while reason is dried grape not to be confused with raisin which is what we're trying to do on here

    -- Posted by speak-e-z on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 8:08 AM
  • Iron Man. Depending on how you look at it I guess is how you determine if there was any lieing by the board members. I myself did alot of the figures on my own when it came to cost savings on the school bond with the 1vs2 school arguement. By my figures everything the architect stated and the board members stated, came out close to what a had figured. Note: they were dealing with actual cost I was dealing with estimates.

    You say the recall has nothing to do with the bond and you call me ignorant??? You might want to read your own comment and revisit that. The arguement is they lied during the BOND process. Hmmm seems like a bond issue to me.

    As far as Shane being a bully. If someone came up to me and threatened me in front of my daughter I would call that bully tactics. I actually commend Mike for what seemed like a level head in that situation. I myself may have had a hard time restraining myself. I have also heard from many witnesses about Shane's need to corner people and yell at them if they didn't agree with him.

    Now if Shane is truely worried about the taxpayers and the cost of thing to the extent he claims. Maybe he should consider saving the tax payers money and do something different with the land he has received $320,000 in CRP payments from the taxpayers.

    People all I ask is that you look at both sides of the story and really examine what is going on here. Shane for some reason never wants to share his point with any of the folks over here in Trenton. That is why I am so convienced that he is just trying to drive a wedge between the two communities anyway he can. In all appearence he seems to want to dissolve the district.

    If he actually has a legitiment concern why not hold a public meeting of some sort and invite all to come from both communities.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 8:22 AM
  • Also, Ironman I want to know how numbers are dropping when each new class if bigger then the graduating class??

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 8:26 AM
  • Would like to point out that I misread the CRP figures for Shane. It was 350,000 not 320,000 and it was Farm subsidies not CRP. I apologize for the confusion.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 8:52 AM
  • "These board members have lied during that process"

    Out of curiosity, what did they lie about?

    "know that these board members told lies and never presented the entire facts"

    How do you know entire facts if they were never presented?

    If they were, who presented them?

    There are a lot of points to the petition I am interested in hearing since it was only presented to Culberston patrons.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 11:40 AM
  • Thanks for the quotes from the paper Ocho.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 11:43 AM
  • Glad to see other school districts have issues west of Mccook as it was east of McCook a few years ago with Southwest new school location and now 8 man football vs 11 man and only handfull of kids in elementary classes vs bogus projections by idiots in charge because most RedWillow district kidsare now at McCook Schools vs going to a Bartley High School 22 miles away vs 6-8 miles you cant get past distance factor ever long term.... Selling out your friends/neighbors seems to be popular everywhere when it comes to school location issues now even in Trenton and Culbertson..just like Indianola did to its former partners at RedWillow to make RepValley later vote with Bartley district to move to new High School to Bartley.. Just a matter of time/decade till all are at McCook and Dundy Co or Cambridge all others to get smart and agree on a collection point for buses to pickup kids to bus to McCook or others mentioned and close the rest in area and save all taxpayers of 60 miles around McCook a bunch of money...vs Country Club micro Schools with huge cost for only 3-6 kids in a class like at Southwest and many other schools today.....

    -- Posted by Cornwhisperer on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 2:25 PM
  • I hope, in the end, the communities will vote their with the heads and hearts and the students will come out the winners. Schools will continue to consolidate well into the future and in a couple generations, another vote will be required. These small schools will have to deliver an alternative to the impersonal style of the larger school, and perhaps lure students away.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 9:47 PM
  • Actually Iron Man, the quote from the HCN reads: "I won't be bullied." said Baker.

    No where in the article does Baker call Rippen a bully.

    As for calling the people who signed the petition, isn't that the largest complaint, not listening to the taxpayers. So even contacting patrons with complaints and giving them a chance to voice their concerns gets the board members in trouble. Seems to me there is no way to make you happy.

    -- Posted by Parent of a HC Student on Tue, Aug 30, 2011, at 7:25 AM
  • I have sat here reading all of these comments.. The thing that bothers me is that the petition states that the board members denied them equal counsel... There were numerous open houses that everyone was allowed to share their opinions at... There was a vote taken at a school board meeting and the one school option had the majority of the votes(not by many, but the majoity... It seems to me that this bond had been very close.. either side could have recieved the most votes... In the end the bond passed...

    Last November there were 2 positions open for the school board... I do not remember any of the people throwing such a fit about the school or school board running for office... I believe if you didn't want the job quit griping...

    As for the accusations about mike baker because he has a family member who works at the school... Mike is not the first nor will he probly be the last to have family at the school... If anyone was so worried about that at the last election.. Why was it that Mike recieved the most votes? Just asking?

    The way I look at it the bond vote was approx. 53% to 47%..A small margin to the majority... and now the petiioners want to get rid of 50% of the school board.. Sorry to infom you that even without these 3 votes the Bond would have still passed...

    I believe in the Hitchcock County School system.. It is time for people to pull together and support our Students...


    -- Posted by hitchcockmom on Wed, Aug 31, 2011, at 3:53 PM
  • C'mon people the leader of this petition is only interested in the bond issue for tax purposes. Which is ok since he lives in Hitchcock county. But he seems to not want anything to pass and why would he considering his children do not attend schools in hitchcock county and it would increase the taxes on the X ammout of land that he owns. Therfore your schools are out of code as is alot of buildings out in sw neb but it was brought to the attention of the athorities and they gave you 1 school year and a summer to have a plan in place to repair the existing structures or to build new. So really the argueing is non-negotible you are required by the fire marshall and building code to comply or you will not have a school system and therefore pay rent to the city of McCook to send your kids there. Which in my opinion is what said petitioner should be doing anyway. Just get over it taxes go up that's what happens. In closing like my gpa used to say "There are 2 things in life that are garunteed I'm gunna have to pay my taxes and I'm gunna die"

    -- Posted by reallycmon on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 11:44 AM
  • "If we open a quarrel between past and present we shall find that we lost the future." Winston Churchill

    -- Posted by Kid Kokamo on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 2:59 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: