Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Recall leader Michael Giard said he did not want to hinder board from making decisions during COVID-19 crisis

In December, Molalla resident Michael Giard informed the school board that he would file petitions in January to recall several board members.

He returned in February to let them know he'd filed them. But then on March 21, Giard called off the effort due to the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

He announced the cancellation on his Facebook page dedicated to the effort, "Recall the Molalla River School Board," which has garnered 36 likes.

"It is with great sadness that I write this post," Giard said in the announcement. "The reasons for the recall are still very valid and important, but with the current state of affairs in the world (COVID-19), I feel it is not in the best interest of our community to continue these efforts."

He expressed concern that if the four board members were successfully recalled, that would leave only three standing board members.

"Unfortunately, at that point out board would be handicapped in voting and making necessary decisions as needed during the pandemic," Giard said in the announcement. "With this in mind, the socially responsible thing to do, for our children, is to cancel the recall."

The board members Giard sought to recall were Neal Lucht, Mark Lucht, Craig Loughridge and Linda Eskridge, citing that they do not listen to the community, have wasted money and often sweep issues under the rug.

PMG FILE PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Pictured is the Molalla school board members, from left: Jennifer Satter, Calvin Nunn, Linda Eskridge, Neal Lucht, Ralph Gierke, Craig Loughridge and (not pictured) Mark Lucht.

To recall any board member, Giard was required to collect 1,400 signatures by late April.

Giard told the board on Feb. 13 that collection of signatures had been "fast and furious." He revealed in his cancellation announcement that he had collected 1,000 of 1,400 needed.

Even though he's halting his efforts for now, Giard didn't say he'd drop the issue completely, noting that he would reassess after the COVID-19 crisis is over.

He also said he would continue to attend board meetings and encouraged others to do the same.

Kristen Wohlers
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