Hayes Center school board deadlocked on recall vote

Thursday, February 16, 2012

HAYES CENTER, Nebraska -- The Hayes Center, Nebraska, board of education hit a brick wall Monday evening when its members tried to schedule a recall election of one of its board members.

Four tie votes left the board with no date for an election to recall board member Randy Richter, and petition circulators with questions about what to do next.

The Hayes Center Times-Republican newspaper reports that the board tied 3-3 four times after board member Marian Richards made four motions and Kevin Large seconded each to schedule recall elections on March 2, March 9, March 16 or March 23.

Each of the four votes failed, with the same voting tally -- voting yes, Marian Richards, Kevin Large and Joe Anderjaska; voting no, Kris Kressin, Randy Richter and Bob Rosno -- according to the Times-Republican.

Petition carriers needed 77 valid signatures to ask for the recall of Richter. The Hayes County clerk verified 114 valid signatures gathered by the primary petition carrier, Larry Brott, and others authorized to carry the petition, Connie Brott, Bill Tidyman and Ben Maucher.

The petition, dated Jan. 4, calls for the recall of Richter because his "personal agenda and actions of disrespect to board members, staff and patrons are generating enormous legal fees leaving our district liable for further litigations and undermining administration and staff."

Petition circulators also contend that a meeting was held against board policy and with a teacher in attendance to discuss administration at Richter's home.

Richter's "statement of defense" reads: "I firmly believe the board is responsible to ALL community concerns and needs of ALL its students. Committee meetings with only three board members present are legal. Non-board members, including elementary teachers, are welcome to committee meetings. Information concerning legal fees, including patrons who generate the need for legal advice, is available for review."

Connie Brott said this morning that they are contacting attorneys and the Nebraska attorney general's office to determine their options following the board's action, whether they file the petitions with the Hayes County district court.

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  • Wouldn't it be a conflict of interest for Richter to be voting on the recall? If so, then the vote would have been 3-2. Someone please explain how he was able to vote on something that concerns himself.

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Thu, Feb 16, 2012, at 3:26 PM
  • Yes, one would think an individual the recall petition was carried for would not be allowed to vote on the matter. But this was looked into and Mr. Richter was legally able to vote. Maybe if Mr. Richter would have abstained or recused himself from the vote, respect he has lost over the last several months could have been regained. But again, his vote was legal and it was his choice wether to vote or not.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Thu, Feb 16, 2012, at 4:41 PM
  • Looks like it's headed to District Court and the person being recalled will be up for recall unless he can show that the petitions are invalid but as long as the petitions are valid then the recall election will proceed.

    Section 32-1306: "(1) If the recall petition is found to be sufficient, the filing clerk shall notify the official whose removal is sought and the governing body of the affected political subdivision that sufficient signatures have been gathered. Notification of the official sought to be removed may be by any method specified in section 25-505.01 or, if notification cannot be made with reasonable diligence by any of the methods specified in section 25-505.01, by leaving such notice at the official's usual place of residence and mailing a copy by first-class mail to the official's last-known address.

    (2) The governing body of the political subdivision shall order an election to be held not less than thirty nor more than seventy-five days after the notification of the official whose removal is sought under subsection (1) of this section, except that if any other election is to be held in that political subdivision within ninety days after such notification, the governing body of the political subdivision shall provide for the holding of the recall election on the same day. All resignations shall be tendered as provided in section 32-562. If the official whose removal is sought resigns before the recall election is held, the governing body may cancel the recall election if the governing body notifies the election commissioner or county clerk of the cancellation at least sixteen days prior to the election, otherwise the recall election shall be held as scheduled.

    (3) If the governing body of the political subdivision fails or refuses to order a recall election within the time required, the election may be ordered by the district court having jurisdiction over a county in which the elected official serves. If a filing clerk is subject to a recall election, the Secretary of State shall conduct the recall election."

    -- Posted by hometown1 on Thu, Feb 16, 2012, at 5:34 PM
  • I believe in our own way we are all wanting the best for our school. As a concerned patron of this school district if a recall needs to be done to better the school than I believe that should be done. If Randy didn't do anything wrong than why is he fighting it so HARD? As far as a mob mentality at the school board meeting from what I have seen and heard The MOB has been very well behaved. They believe our administration is doing a good job and is being rudely attacked for his administration and communication skills.

    Maybe certain school board members should listen to all patrons and not just a select few. So with this being said we need to follow through and do whats right for our school.

    -- Posted by Hayes County Resident on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 10:23 AM
  • Cardinal flyer, you seem to be within the inner circle on this issue, so maybe you can supply some answers or replies to the following. 1. In the last year, the patron attendance to the school board meetings has increased from 5 to 10 people to 90'ish (as reported in the Hayes Center Times Republican on the January meeting). The meetings are open to the public and should show the current school board that there is concern about what is happening within the school, school district and school board. How does several people going to public meetings, forming their own opinions, cause a '"mob" mentality"? 2. It is my understanding that Randy had been asked by well respected patrons to resign before the recall petition was even circulated. It was his choice to decline in stepping down and by doing so, any legal fees that is incurred due to the recall could be blamed back to him. Also by voting against setting an election date, the school board members could be blamed for any future legal fees by not allowing the public the right to vote. No one knows if Randy would be recalled at an election and by voting not to allow a recall election, it makes the situation look bad for lack of a better term. 3. When 114 people are willing to sign a public petition to have him recalled, it makes quite a statement. Especially when the signatures are from such a diverse variety of people including families that have firm roots to the small community. 4. No one is taking away from Randy how he "has helped numerous kids in this community, supported a school that we can be proud of, and the knowledge of financial matters", he has been asked to step down and being recalled for his "personal agenda and actions of disrespect to board members, staff and patrons are generating enormous legal fees leaving our district liable for further litigations and undermining administration and staff."

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 10:26 AM
  • Thank you IC for the explanation.

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 1:12 PM
  • Cardinal Flyer:

    Enough is Enough?

    Your right, he has been elected three times. And now, the patrons appear to want to change that. So much so that 114 signed a petition to recall him. That's a lot of people that think there is something wrong with the situation.

    The "mob" mentality at the school board meetings is nothing short of a statement in itself. Patrons have "mobbed" the meeting for the last year because they are very concerned about what is going on.

    You ask when the problem started... Well when did Randys daughter lose her job? That is probably a good place to begin. And after that happened was Randy able to maintain objectivity? Or did he lose that objectivity and start trying to make everything as difficult as possible.

    And your right, Randy has done a lot of good things for the school and the community, but all of that is lost in the current situation.

    Telling the patrons enough is enough and to drop this now only antagonizes the situation more. These phrases just incite voters that their opinions don't matter. Which is all the more reason that we need to follow through with the recall, because board members are no longer representing the public that elected them.

    Cardinal Flyer, have you considered that maybe doing the right thing isn't for the patrons to drop it, maybe doing the right thing is Randy resigning after that many patrons have spoken out.

    -- Posted by sugarchip on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 2:26 PM
  • A world divided...I don't see anything wrong with a person standing up for himself when he knows that he has done absolutely nothing wrong. Why should he walk away without a fight, and let the angry few get their way? I know there are many people in the community who continue to support Mr. Richter. Unfortunately, the ones who make the most noise are always the ones against something instead of for it. I have known Mr. Richter for many years, and I know that he is a man of good character. He was raised in your small community and chose to return there to raise his own family. I know that he would only act in the best interest of the members of Hayes County. Sadly, he has been singled-out for his attempt to preserve the integrity of your school district. Remember, there are two sides to every story, and when you are narrow-minded you fail to see that maybe what you thought was right all along couldn't be any further from right. Wake up angry "mob!" You are destroying the tiny community you have left!

    -- Posted by My_Opinion_Only on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 3:41 PM
  • You couldn't pay me enough to be on a board like that. I guess we have finally evolved into a society that recalls elected volunteers over personal disagreements now.

    If all of our jobs were kept that way, not a one of us would have work.

    HCR - thanks for the ridiculous quote of the day "If Randy didn't do anything wrong than why is he fighting it so HARD?"...wow, just...wow.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 3:50 PM
  • Sugarchip I couldn't agree more! If Randy is so wonderful the big question is why is so many people wanting him replaced? And yes Husker23 maybe I stated that wrong, But if he didn't do anything wrong than yes stand up for what you believe but also admit when you are wrong.You state how a society wants to recall a elected volunteer over a personal disagreement... you are right HE shouldn't have let his personal feelings affect the way he conducts himself in a meeting! And maybe we wouldn't be in this mess! If he is the outstanding board member that some of you believe he is including the other two members than why not go a head and set the date for the recall and let the people decide. If you have not attended a public meeting and watched them in action I believe you are forming your opinion on hear say. And to MY-Opinion-Only that is just what the angry "mob" did is woke up and decided to take a stand!!! And show our support and do what is right.Instead of standing back and watching a few people take away a good thing.It is to bad that it has come down to this but it's time that the community gets involved...so YAY for "THE MOB" for opening the eyes of alot of people.

    -- Posted by Hayes County Resident on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 5:30 PM
  • Hayes County Resident, you are right on!

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 6:41 PM
  • "if he didn't do anything wrong than yes stand up for what you believe but also admit when you are wrong" - Either you are terribly confused or you are having difficulty articulating your position. This statement contradicts itself which makes it appear that you have come to a premature conclusion based either on either "hearsay" or due to a personal grudge, and are now trying to justify it. Global warming scientists do the same thing.

    "If you have not attended a public meeting and watched them in action I believe you are forming your opinion on hear say" - Here you are insinuating that anyone who hasn't been at a meeting and come to the same conclusion as you is either misinformed or unable to form an intelligent opinion without influence from others. Yeah, that makes sense...everybody usually comes to the same conclusion on everything (sarcasm alert).

    Believe it or not, there is another side to the story and your willingness to ignore that is a glaring and troubling observation.

    In my humble and entirely equally justified opinion, those three board members may be the only intelligent and rational people left on the board...regardless of where you think I have formed my opinion.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 11:04 PM
  • Fact:

    There were 3 board members up for election last election, 3 board members ran (no one else), and 3 board members were elected.


    Of these 3 board members elected, Randy Richter got the least amount of votes (approx. 54 votes)


    There were 120+ signatures on the petition, 114 of these signatures were verified (more than double of what Randy Richter received in the last election)


    In the last election there was more than 200 undervotes in the Hayes Center School Board election (in case you don't know what this is...it is where the people who voted in the election don't vote on this particular item)

    There were 114 people (120+ people actually signed the petition) willing to put their name on a document to ask for a recall election. These names were gathered in less than a 48 hour time frame. That is a big statement. (side note: Randy received a copy of the names on the petition and these names have since been shared with other people....now people who signed the petition are receiving phone calls about why they signed it, etc., etc.)

    This matter is not going to "go away". It will be filed in District Court. The residents of the Hayes Center School Board District will get their chance to state their opinion by voting in an election. So please be ready to use your constitutional right and GO VOTE!!!

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Sat, Feb 18, 2012, at 7:26 AM
  • "But if he didn't do anything wrong than yes stand up for what you believe but also admit when you are wrong."

    Why would he admit he was wrong if he didn't do anything wrong?

    -- Posted by bberry on Sat, Feb 18, 2012, at 4:56 PM
  • "C" word equals consolidation. An assumption on my part since the Gazette investigative reporting does not go into any details on what is the source of controversy here.

    How about some facts so we all can make a decision here.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Feb 19, 2012, at 11:50 PM
  • I wondered why they had deleted your post CPB. I didn't have any problems connecting "C" word as consolidation.

    I guess they did.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Feb 20, 2012, at 7:32 AM
  • Waiting for answers or replies from Cardinal Flyer. Husker23, if you know any answers or replies to my inqury, please jump in. The silence is deafening. (Sarcasm alert)

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Mon, Feb 20, 2012, at 2:00 PM
  • IC - I guess I really didn't read anything in your comment that deserved a response.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Mon, Feb 20, 2012, at 7:40 PM
  • Husker23, no replies or answers were expected. Why would any answers or replies be offered, since Randy has not offered any reasons for his actions or answers to questions asked of him. Ostriches must be the mascot for Team Randy.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 6:44 AM
  • I would still like to know what this story is all about. What exactly did Mr. Richter do? Why is the school board split they way it is? Why is the community so concerned?

    The Gazette really fumbled the ball here. This is a poor job of reporting.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 7:05 AM
  • As of right now the HC School Board is split 3-3 on issues that have to do with the Superintendent-Mr Howard, a few policy changes, and now the recall. Who is to say which side of the 3-3 split is the right side?

    I believe that the community needs to be putting there time and energy behind the lack of state aid the school will be recieving, only $14,000 in State Aid for next year?! By the time the recall has has played out, I am sure this amount will have been spent.

    Randy was never asked to resign by any member of the community. The community voted for Randy to represent them on the School Board, and the School Board members themselves voted him in as Vice-President.

    Do the board members know that they made a wrong choice by hiring our current Administration? Interesting that the Superintendent they choose to hire was terminated from Wray Colorado in September 2009 (these school board minutes can be viewed on Wray schools website). Obviously, there must have been major circumstances for a school board to release him at the beginning of the school year...Maybe the solution isn't recalling a board member but instead firing a Superintendent.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 2:04 PM
  • I think more energy needs to be spent on keeping the school open and hmmmm paying for that expensive gym that doesn't seem to have enough seating!!!!(tax dollars well spent) Oh well i guess we can park our tractors and farm equipment in it when the school closes!!!

    -- Posted by pink67 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 3:44 PM
  • Thank-you HC123 just read the September 21st minutes of the Wray schools and read alot of the same statements FOR Mr. Howard that alot of the residents of Hayes County have stated!! You did state they were the September minutes correct? As far as hiring the wrong Superintendent oh they hired the right one it's just the simple fact that he stepped on the wrong toes and now they want to get rid of him.

    -- Posted by Hayes County Resident on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 4:29 PM
  • HC123:

    Not sure who you have talked to but Randy has been asked to resign by more than one member of the community.

    Have you actually got on the Wray schools website and read the minutes you are quoting? I have and nowhere in there does it say he was terminated from the Wray Schools as Superintendent.

    Maybe you need to find a new source for your information that you are stating as truths so you don't get yourself into a liable situation!!

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 4:57 PM
  • Having just read the Wray School District Board Minutes, there is nothing that states any wrongdoing by Superintendent Howard. If anything, the board gave him its full support. So I highly doubt that the superintendent job is the source of controversy.

    Stepping on the wrong toes is can be highly toxic in a small isolated community. But still, what is the truth here?

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 5:30 PM
  • "As administrators in the Wray School District, we are concerned as a whole with the possibility of our Superintendent being terminated during the school year and the direction this will take our district. As a result of our concerns, we ask that you consider the following questions that we have as we look ahead."-- September 21 Board minutes

    Apparently further action was taken in the Sept. 24th or Oct 5th Special Board Metting--"Hoff motioned to approve the minutes from the September 21, 2009 regular board meeting, the September 24, 2009 special board meeting, and the October 5, 2009 special board meeting with the change of Hoff seconded the authorization of Carrie Lenz's signature on the agreement instead of Meredith seconded it. Meredith seconded the motion. All members voted AYE." (oct 19 minutes)

    The October 19 board meeting they are discussing superintendent interviews. Sunnydays yes you are right he may not have been "terminated" I just took that language from the minutes of the Sept 21 meeting. He very well may have resigned. Still makes me question what motives they had to release him from contract.

    HCR~ I also read the comments FOR him. Makes me wonder what he does that he constantly has to have community members praising him at board meetings. I don't remember past admin. having to have the community come support them for doing their job. Maybe he just built his "Mob" alittle sooner here as he gathered them too late at his last place of employment.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 5:31 PM
  • New Superintendent is present in Nov. 2009 School Board Minutes.--"Under the Superintendent's Report, Dr. Maksimowicz stated that he had completed a very good FIRST week and that he was impressed by all of the staff. He met with the staff, the BOCES director, talked with the county clerk about the election, and talked with the new board members."

    -- Posted by HC123 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 5:41 PM
  • HC123:

    No where in your last statement does it say that the previous Superintendent was fired. I took from this statement that he resigned. Totally different scenario.

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 5:54 PM
  • Sunnydays:

    I just took "terminated" from the minutes that I quoted from the Sept. 21 board meeting.

    Since the special board meeting minutes are not published We don't know if he was fired or terminated. Just that it happened fast, as he did not appear in the October regular board minutes.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 6:14 PM
  • fired or * resigned* (not terminated)

    -- Posted by HC123 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 6:15 PM
  • HC 23: You need to talk to the Wray School system. I have and Mr. Howard resigned. You should have researched this before you just started assuming that you knew what happened. How many other people have you "shared" this untruth with besides on here? Did all the untruths flying around Hayes Center about Mr. Howard and the current Board situation originate with you? Before starting rumors based on assumptions...please get the facts!

    ALL the school board had to do was set a date at the last board meeting for the recall election. Am really curious why that was not done. Just because an election date was set does not mean that Randy would be recalled. People would have a chance to vote and there is just as good a chance that he would be kept in office as recalled. If he was not afraid of losing his "volunteer" position why did he not vote for the setting of the date? One would think without his "buddy" running for reelection he would not want to stay on the board....unless it is for some "personal" vendetta for his daughter not getting her teaching position back.

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 6:32 PM
  • Mr Howard has stood up to people that are not used to being stood up to. They do not like not getting their way and now they have personal vendettas against him. How ironcic is it that the school has an anti-bullying policy for the students, but these 3 board members that Husker23 believes to be the only "intelligent and rational" board members are attempting to bully the administration and patrons. I find it pathetic that since their toes and toes of their friends have been stepped on, they bring up Mr Howards past employment. Apparently it wasn't an issue to any of the board members when he was hired, but now suddenly it is. Basically just because he has stepped on some precious toes of individuals that don't like being told there are rules (many that they helped implement) and everyone needs to abide by them. As in it don't matter what your last name is or who you are related to.

    I know of 3 individuals that have asked Mr Richter to resign. All 3 respected within the community. To have HC123 spread an untruth about no one asking him to resign is baffling. Some of the above people commenting on this story are attempting to blame the "angry mob" for the community being in a mess. They need to look at what they are saying at coffee club, eating lunch, meeting at happy hour, seeing each other at the fuel pumps, etc spreading stories. Many without checking the facts before spreading what they think they know.

    Everyone needs to step back, take a deep breath & figure out what's best for the kids, school and taxpayers as a whole, not what is best for themselves only.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 8:18 PM
  • No matter which 'side' you are on in this ongoing saga, the one item that should upset the entire community is that 50 percent of the Hayes Center School Board is thumbing their noses at State Law. They took an oath of office to uphold the law. Makes you wonder what other rules/laws they have been willing to disregard as they 'govern'.

    -- Posted by Watching With Interest on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 8:34 PM
  • Watching With Interest: AGREED!!!!

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 9:39 PM
  • Just an observation. The Hayes County School community (school board and patrons) have always had a contentious relationship with their superintendents. Part of that community believes it is the boards authority to operate and manage the schools agenda. The other believes they hired and administrator to do that job. It happens at every school, just look to their south.

    I arrived at this thought by looking at the split in the boards voting, the schools past history, comments from their local newspaper, and in the comments above.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 8:52 AM
  • M.O.B.

    maturity ~ over ~ bullying

    Proud to be a member!

    -- Posted by sugarchip on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 9:09 AM
  • Sunnydays,

    "You should have researched this before you just started assuming that you knew what happened. How many other people have you "shared" this untruth with besides on here? Did all the untruths flying around Hayes Center about Mr. Howard and the current Board situation originate with you? Before starting rumors based on assumptions...please get the facts!"

    Instead of lecturing me on "untruths" I would also suggest you take you own advice. According to the April 11, 2011 HC board minutes Mr. Richters daughter RESIGNED, it's all right there in black in white unlike the current Superintendent's "resignation". Did the rumor that Mr Richter is acting on a "personal" vendetta begin with you sunnydays? Get your facts straight. Mr. Richter dauighter's mother-in-law is also on the school board. If this really all had to do with his daughter resigning would her mother-in-law not be on the same side of the issues?

    I have yet to meet anyone who has asked Mr Richter to resign, however I have met more than 3 community members that symphathized with how horrible he and his family has been treated after all the great things they have done for this community. A great deal more than 3 well respected community members have shown there support for him.

    The only information I am relaying is from printed board minutes. Are you providing these individuals with the same courtesy? If its not printed in the minutes or you have not personnally spoken to them about all the details...you are liable for slander and libel.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 2:01 PM
  • Watching With Interest ~ Well said & definitely a true statement!

    Chunky Peanut Butter ~ you are correct as well. Micromanaging does not benefit anyone.

    Sugarchip ~ there needs to be more members with your attitude!

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 2:10 PM
  • I have not attended any board meetings but I have worked with the staff and administration of Hayes Center Schools over the years and been pleased with the outcome.

    How can Mr. Richter vote on items of personal interest? ie his daughter's employment, his own recall election date. You would think it is a conflict of interest. The right thing to do would be to abstain from the vote and discussion.

    Reading the minutes of the school board meetings, there just seems to be a tug of war between the board itself and the board with the adminstration. Correct me if I am wrong, but this board was the ones who hired Mr. Howard.

    Times are tough for taxpayers, if Mr. Richter does not believe he was asked to step down by 3 couples, then I am asking him now. Please step down and save the community and the taxpayers expense. You have made some bad choices, just stand up and be the HERO here. RESIGN ALREADY

    Or just set the date and let the people decide if they still want you on the board, just do something productive!

    -- Posted by Wifeoffarmer on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 4:24 PM
  • Just curious regarding why all the discussion and credibility is given to an anonymous, opinionated and unsubstantiated subjective claim that 3 unnamed "well respected patrons" asked Randy to step down.

    Is this truly an argument for determining someones fate?

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Wed, Feb 22, 2012, at 11:18 PM
  • Husker23, does the FACT that at LEAST 3 well respected community members have asked Randy to step down determine his fate...No it does not. It is a FACT that he has been asked to resign by community members who feel he has not completed his volunteer duties to the benefit of the school, district, taxpayers, etc. It was used (by myself at least) to show the recall was not used as the only means to communicate with Randy on the feelings/thoughts/opinions of many community members. One individual who asked Randy to resign did so as an effort to gain Randy's side of the issues facing the school district and stated that IF Randy had reasons to back up his (Randy's) actions, the patron would not sign the petition. Did Randy provide any information? Must not have because this individual and family signed the petition.

    Randy and the 2 board members that voted not to set an election date attempted to take away the publics ONLY means of deciding Randy's fate.

    During the meeting all board members had ample opportunities to voice their opinions and/or reasons for not setting an election date. Did the 3 members who voted not to set a date speak? Not a word. In fact, they sat in the chairs ignoring a request by 114+ people. Yes, these are the 3 that you, Husker23, stated are the "only intelligent and rational" board members. The other dumb and irrational board members actually listened to the patrons and voted to allow the public have a say in Randy's fate. (Side note....I do NOT think any of the board members are dumb or irrational.)

    I understand the fact that Randy, his family and his friends have been more than likely hurt over this recall being conducted. But I ask Randy what else was the patrons supposed to do when he held a committee meeting (of the building or transportation committee to discuss the building of a bus barn) with an elemetary teacher present who has NOTHING TO DO WITH A BUS BARN OR BUSSING but NOT the bus superintendent? It's been metionend above that this is not against any policy. It is my understanding that it is against board policy to have meetings with a staff member without the administration knowing it is to occur and it is against teacher policy to have meetings with school board members with out the administration knowing it is to occur. Above all else, in my opinion it is against MORAL policy to have a young, attractive, unmarried teacher meeting in the home of a board member with 3 adult males. Before you get all warped out of shape, ask yourself would you like your daughter to be at a meeting like that? Would you like your husband at a meeting like that? Again, that is just my opinion. My opinion more than likely will not matter to you, but at least I'm willing to voice mine when asked. Unlike Randy.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 9:31 AM
  • "Above all else, in my opinion it is against MORAL policy to have a young, attractive, unmarried teacher meeting in the home of a board member with 3 adult males."

    This is really all that is needed to evaluate the credibility of your posts...thank you.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 9:45 AM
  • @Husker23

    If my opinion of what is moral or not is the issue you choose to focus on, that in itself shows your deep seated concern for the Hayes Center School District as a whole.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 10:17 AM
  • I agree with Husker23. A young unmarried female teacher has the same rights to speak with any gender of board members when and where they choose. Would this even be a question if the young unmarried teacher was male? No.

    Again, I would like you to post the direct policies that you are "quoting" from that you believe the 3 board members actions where against. Hopefully with your MORAL policy you have read these policies and could share them with us.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 10:47 AM
  • @HC123

    "Each employee of the Hayes Center Public Schools is responsible to the Board of Education through the Superintendent of Schools. All personnel shall refer matters requiring administrative action or attention to the administrator immediately in charge of the building or area in which the problem arises. If a problem is not resolved at the first administrative level, it may be forwarded to the superintendent‟s office for review. In turn, any significant communications or directives to staff from the Superintendent of School‟s office will be channeled through the appropriate administrator.

    To seek a Board of Education audience for a complaint or problem, certificated staff members are encouraged to utilize the formal grievance procedure in the negotiated agreement." ~ Board Policy

    As for your concern over MY moral opinion, yes I would have the same concern if it was a young attractive unmarried man with 3 adult females. You (like Husker23) focusing on what I think is moral or not is another attempt to deflect what should be discussed. Take a few minutes and reread the above comments, try to understand what 8 indiviuals are willing to stand up for and voice their opinions.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 12:00 PM
  • From what I read from the Board policy, certified staff members are ENCOURAGED to follow the grievence procedure stated above, encouraged is very different from a "must use". This still does not show where it was against the boards policy for 3 members to meet with a teacher.

    I agree with what should be discussed is only the cold hard facts. Much of what is above by 8 individuals is nonsense that should not have been wrote since it was not on the recall petition. Including any comments about the morality of a teacher trying to address her concerns with the school board.

    -- Posted by HC123 on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 12:23 PM
  • I was NOT referring to the TEACHER's Morality! I was referring to the BOARD MEMBER who invited the teacher to a BUILDING/TRANSPORTATION committee meeting when the teacher has nothing to do with building/transportation decisions. Do you not think it is odd to invite a teacher to the meeting but not the person directly involved in the bus department?

    As far as how you read the policy, it's like how you interrupted *terminated* to be in the Wray Colorado minutes.

    I am not going to argue with you or anyone else. I have spoken my opinion and that is as far as I am willing to go. HC123 & Husker23 we are going to have to agree to disagree.

    My hope this issue is resolved soon, so the school board, administration, teachers, staff and students can move forward and deal with the education of the young people.

    -- Posted by InterestedCitizens on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 1:09 PM
  • I am wondering when and why did this community become so hateful and judgemental of our own friends, neighbors, and even family? This petition is a personal attack on a man with a wife and children who all have made a life here. For a minute just try to imagine how his children feel knowing that a whole "mob" of folks would like to run thier dad out of town and of course them as well because they are his. Mr. Howard may not be a long time resident of Hayes county but he too has a wife and children that live here and must feel attacked when he is being scrutinized.

    However the difference is nobody is sending out a petition to have Mr. Howard "run out of town". Yes he has been questioned and at times put under the microscope. But I would remind all of you that Mr. Howard receives a very healthy salary for the job he does and is it really too much to ask that he be able to explain his actions and decisions to board members?

    This has created alot of resentment and division among people that used to be friends. It is very sad that it has come to such a personal battle between a few. What kind of example are we setting for the students of this school about respect for others when the adults are acting so ridiculous?

    How about we let the superintendant do his job, let the board members do thiers and the rest of us get a hobby.

    -- Posted by Tiredofthedrama on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 10:33 PM
  • Ok let's get real. Who is this really about? Obviously not about the children of our school. If it truly was for the benefit of our children then people with no kids at all and no business even attending the school board meetings wouldn't be so influential and involved. There are serious issues involving the kids at the school. No one seems to be able to open their eyes and realize that this mess is distracting everything away from the school and replacing it with the drama of the community that seems to fuel everyday lives in this county. Randy has every right to defend himself. He has done nothing wrong. Our whole community is concerned with matters that frankly have nothing to do with the betterment of our school but rather their own drama driven lives. This is not Days of Our Lives people.

    -- Posted by CardinalLover on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 12:29 AM
  • If Randy did nothing wrong, why won't he abstain from voting when there is personal conflict????

    AND get a date set for the recall election so that we can be done with this drama????

    114 people have asked for a recall and where are their rights in getting a date set???

    The petition carriers followed the law because they felt there was a problem and 114 people agreed.

    Randy can stop this - But does he want to?

    -- Posted by Wifeoffarmer on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 11:16 AM
  • Dear Wifeoffarmer, I would like to ask you if you can explain to me in detail exactly what Mr. Richter has done to justify having him recalled? Disrespect towards the administaration at board meetings (which I am aware of that accusation)is truly anyones opinion and the last time I checked not illegal or a breach of contract. As far as his choice to vote on issues that some believe to be a conflict, well it is just that...his choice. I believe thats why we elect officials to make those choices. I truly am just asking if there is some other crime to mankind or breech on Randys part that were not aware of?

    One other thing I want to mention. I have been told by quite a few residents that a very large amount of those 114 signatures were not well informed as to what they were signing and why. For instance some of our hispanic community that may not speak fluent English were asked to sign. I have only been told these things but if that is true it in my opinion takes away most of the creditbility of those casting the petition.

    -- Posted by Tiredofthedrama on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 12:29 PM
  • Seriously feel like I'm wasting my time here....but here goes:

    1: Shame on you McCook Gazette for allowing people to blog like this without attaching their real name to it.....am pretty sure alot of the things said here would not be said on a face to face basis....also don't think you allow editorials to be published in your paper without names attached.

    2. HC123: IF you remember right the non-renewal of Sarah Richards was an agenda item on the March, 2011 meeting. This agenda item was removed during the additions or corrections part of the agenda...then the resignation of Sarah Richards happened during the April, 2011....so shame on you for lecturing me on NOT knowing the facts and spreading "rumors".

    3. CardinalLover: "If it truly was for the benefit of our children then people with no kids at all and no business even attending the school board meetings wouldn't be so influential and involved."

    I am wondering if you really want to stand behind this statement.....do you realize how much tax money we receive from people who have no kids in our school? Do you really think they should not have any interest in what goes on at the school? The school board meetings are not just for people who have kids in school....IF it is there are 3 people on the school board that should not be there because they no longer have children in our school system.

    4. Tiredofthedrama: "I have been told by quite a few residents that a very large amount of those 114 signatures were not well informed as to what they were signing and why. For instance some of our hispanic community that may not speak fluent English were asked to sign."

    SERIOUSLY??? Do you realize how racist this statement makes you sound? Are you for real? Do you think that the hispanic community cannot make an educated decision? REALLY??? And then you make the statement you have only been told these things and have decided it takes away the credibility of the petition? REALLY??? You have no idea!! Go to a board meeting and make an informed decision!!

    5. HC123: So Randy Richter has not been asked to resign from the school board.....at the next board meeting would he like us to get up one by one and personally ask him to step down in the public meeting??? This way he would know and so would everyone else know that he had been asked to resign and there would not be any questions on that issue.

    6. Watching with Interest got it RIGHT!!! No matter which 'side' you are on in this ongoing saga, the one item that should upset the entire community is that 50 percent of the Hayes Center School Board is thumbing their noses at State Law. They took an oath of office to uphold the law. Makes you wonder what other rules/laws they have been willing to disregard as they 'govern'.

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 9:25 PM
  • 7. AND I will end by finishing what was begun by HC123: "As administrators in the Wray School District, we are concerned as a whole with the

    possibility of our Superintendent being terminated during the school year and the

    direction this will take our district." As a result of our concerns, we ask that you

    consider the following questions that we have as we look ahead.

    1. What has changed from June, 2009 when the Board of Education issued a

    statement that they were in full support of administration and wanted to move


    From the minutes of the Board Meeting of June 15, 2009:

    "Fully recognizing that there have been concerns in our

    district, the Board of Education has heard these concerns

    and through a continued and concerted effort with the staff,

    community and administration, our intention is to move

    forward and improve the overall educational direction for

    our school district. With that said, the Board of Education

    would like to express our full support of Ron Howard, Frank Reeves and the entire administrative team and will continue

    to look forward to better days through better ways."

    2. If this support has changed, where do the remaining administrators and

    staff stand with the board in regard to upholding policy?

    3. Is this decision based on Mr. Howard upholding procedures as it relates to

    executive sessions or policies?

    4. What is the value of a contract within this district? What actions warrant a

    change in contract as this time of the year?

    5. Has the proper timeline of evaluations been given to Mr. Howard and any

    information necessary to improve on since his last evaluation?

    6. Has Mr. Howard been allowed adequate time to correct any deficiencies?

    7. What is your plan for the rest of the year?

    8. Have you thought about the repercussions for this decision? If we are

    without a Superintendent at this time of year, who will run the daily

    operations of the school district in which a Superintendent is responsible?

    9. What are you looking for in a Superintendent?

    10. The board has stated that they wish to hire and retain quality people and

    ensure that we do all that we can to help our staff become quality people

    for our students. Have all repercussions been considered in this action of

    terminating a Superintendent during the school year and is this in

    accordance to the district goals.

    11. What does this action show the rest of our district, community, and future

    prospects in educators for our district?

    12. Is this decision financially prudent during this time of financial shortfall

    among the State's funding in public education?

    Mrs. Lenz also read a statement that she wrote regarding the board and why she will not

    be seeking another term.

    "I did not want it to come to this but if I am going to be at peace with myself you

    must hear the following. For any board to be effective, it must have a sense of

    unified purpose. For the past two years individual agendas have overshadowed

    our mission and divided our board. Employees are let go because their

    performances is poor or because of improprieties not because they don't get

    along with a board member. For us as a board to have allowed Ron and his family

    to go through what they have gone through this past year has been inexcusable.

    He has been an incredible employee and a tremendous asset. Leading our school

    district in the positive direction we are going. I firmly believe this district is close

    to achieving a level of excellence itself that small schools seldom reach. We have

    been a fickle board and an embarrassment to this district. We have had little

    respect for our policies or our code of conduct. Our word cannot be trusted. It is

    time for us to quit the micromanagement and the theatrics and to work under the

    ethical guidelines of our district policies. It is time for us to return to our mission

    of the focus of our children." Ms. Pam Zuege spoke regarding the issue of Mr. Howard.

    "I was on the board for a brief period of time, about a year and a half. So I did

    work with the board members and with Mr. Howard. I guess I didn't realize things

    had gotten to the point that they have. I have since resigned and pretty much

    taken the summer off trying to just get away from it all. I decided to come back

    because I still have a child in high school. I still am interested in what is going on

    in the high school, so I wanted to start coming to the meetings again. I decided to

    come tonight, which I guess was an interesting choice to come. I guess I'm just

    going to say it. My working with Mr. Howard and the other board members, I think

    Mr. Howard is excellent in his financial planning. He was always looking forward

    to what the state's shortfall is going to be, what we were going to have to pick up,

    and try to let us know in advance to plan. That's very valuable in these times. I've

    also heard he's not personable. You know what, if I have to choose a person that

    can get along with everybody or a person who can run my school and keep the

    money and keep our programs and keep things that we want in our school, I'm

    going to pick the manager of the money. You know, we don't always get along

    with everybody. We have to kind of, I guess decide how important that is. But to

    me as a taxpayer, I want my money to be managed so that we have reserves as we

    do now, that we have the programs that we have with the least amount of affect on

    the staff, the school. I want to keep that going. I think Mr. Howard has been good

    at that. I think he has been good in that respect. I would hate to see management

    administration gone at this time of year. Who are you going to find? Who is

    going to step in at this point in time? Plus the process it takes to find an

    administrator is quite a lengthy process."

    Mr. Duard Fix spoke on behalf of the Kitzmiller Bales Trust:

    "It has been in existence for 25 years. The school has benefited a great deal from

    what Mrs. Kitzmiller has left. For 25 years we have worked with a lot of

    superintendents most of them have been good. Ron Howard has been at the top

    of the list as far as I am concerned. Anything that needed to be done, he brought

    the information to us and followed up to make sure everything was done

    according to what we agreed upon. I don't think that angers people. Money has

    been well spent. Their job is not to micromanage money it is to fund money for

    projects. I think he is doing a very good job for the school."

    Mr. Buller spoke as a new comer to the district. He stated that as an outsider coming

    into this community, he feels that the staff, administration, and school are doing it right.

    He appreciates working in this district.

    Mr. Mike Fecht spoke as a former board member. He stated that having been through

    five different superintendents, Ron has been one of the top ones. Anything that the

    board gave to Mr. Howard to do, he was diligent to do it. He may have made mistakes

    but he was sure to correct the problems. He loves the students and the district. If it was

    good for one person it had to be good for everyone. He didn't play favorites. He stated

    that he would be concerned if Mr. Howard was let go at this time.

    Mrs. Dee Blecha stated that she is dedicated to this district and has five good years left

    of teaching. She stated that the climate needs to change in this district in order for her to

    finish her five years here.

    Maybe some of these questions should be asked of our current board! Again when you get the chance use your constitutional right and GO VOTE!!!!!

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 9:33 PM
  • Sunnydays5 why are you so angry? You keep sounding more and more like this is really a personal issue for you not an issue about the school. Maybe you should take a step back and take a breath before you let your emotions take over.

    I am a racist because I simply said that signatures were collected by people in the community that did not completley understand what they were signing? That is certainly not thier fault. Calling me a racist based on that statement makes you sound rather ignorant and uneducated.

    I was hoping for an explanation as to why a petition to have a board member thrown out is on the table at this time. I dont want to hear about his rudeness or his voting on certain issues and as far as legal fees? Well lets get honest because of this mess legal fees will cost the school thousands. Soooo please anybody that has a solid reason for all of this I truly look forward to hearing it.

    -- Posted by Tiredofthedrama on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 1:57 AM
  • I have to add one more thing. Pretty soon it wont matter who is running our school because by now with the budget for next year looking pretty bleek too, were going to be broke with all these lawsuits on top of us. Hope everyone is ready to be broncos cause its lookin alot like we will all be headed west sooner than we had hoped. Mostly because of this temper tantrum mentality we have created, if its not going our way we just get rid of those with different opinions.

    -- Posted by Tiredofthedrama on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 2:15 AM
  • Tired of the drama: NOT worth the response!

    -- Posted by sunnydays5 on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 7:48 AM
  • I apologize for not having anything useful to contribute to the conversation at hand. I just feel it is hilarious that sunnydays5 complains to the Gazette for letting people blog like this without attaching their real name- while using an alias- and then proceeds to blow off another poster by saying their response isn't worth a response. If he or she is rude enough to say such a thing to people face to face, then there's nothing more to be said.

    -- Posted by bjo on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 9:53 AM
  • I have an idea. If everybody agrees that its all about the kids, then why dont everybody posting anything on this wall go to hershey tuesday night and support the boys basketball team in their quest for a state tournament berth. If everybody really cares any at all, they will be there. Lets bring the community together, get back on track as a small, quiet, wonderful town and support our kids. The people that want to sit at home and post comments all hours of the day and night and cause trouble instead of supporting our kids and town, well go right ahead. See everybody in hershey. Go Cardinals!

    -- Posted by Cardinals08 on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 2:39 PM
  • Sunnydays, thank you for posting the rest of the minutes from Wray Colo. Reading through these again just makes it even more apparent to me that he was terminated or asked to resign.

    Also, according to the March meeting minutes they did remove an action item but it does not say what that item was. However, I am guessing that a lot more is involved with Randy's daughters reasons to resign. Unless you have talked to Randy's daughter about her personal reasons to resign I would say it you who is spreading RUMORS! We should be encouraging more young families to move back to Hayes Center. Not giving them ample reason to run.

    Again, the only thing that should be even be an issue is what the petitioners stated on the petition. So far these accusations have yet to be proven to me. No where in board policy does it say the three school board members can not meet with a teacher.

    Cardinals O8 I couldn't agree more. Our community needs to drop all of this and get back to supporting our kids and not bashing our neighbors and friends. GO CARDS!

    -- Posted by HC123 on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 3:06 PM
  • I have no idea of all the facts associated to Mr. Richter and the recall vote not do I want to know all of them! But as a former bronco I couldn't help but notice the comment about becoming a bronco and moving west! I think maybe you could all learn from what is going on to your west! The towns of Palisade and Wauneta have pulled together in many tough situations to keep a viable school district and competitive academic and athletics program, which in this day and age is becoming more and more difficult. And now they rally together to save a nursing home along with 30 plus jobs and yet you don't see anyone trying to tell some other VOLUNTEER how to do his or her job! So either step up or step out and put an end to your issue before you cost yourselves your school and your community!!!

    -- Posted by formerbronco on Tue, Feb 28, 2012, at 11:09 AM
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