AUBURN — An effort to recall school officials might have more to do with finding better people to serve, a former city councilor said Wednesday.

Mike Farrell said he and a group of former councilors had redrafted and planned to resubmit a petition to recall most members of Auburn’s School Committee after it was turned back by the city attorney.

The recall effort would continue, Farrell said.

“The point is to motivate and unite,” he said.

The group has 90 days to collect 2,395 signatures for each school committee member they hope to recall.

That would put their deadline sometime in September — after the ballot for November’s regular election is set. All seven School Committee seats, as well as all seven council seats and the mayor’s seat, are up for election on November’s ballot.

But the regular election may be the real target of the recall effort. Farrell said he and other former councilors hope to find willing candidates for school board seats while collecting recall signatures.

“The only effort here is for change,” Farrell said. “You can take as much out of that statement as you want.”

Farrell and five other former councilors — Ron Potvin, Ray Berube, Bob Mennealy, Dan Herrick and Joe Gray — filed their original recall petition Monday.

It targets all sitting members of the School Committee except for Ward 4’s Tracey Levesque.

Members targeted are Ward 1’s William Horton, Ward 2’s Bonnie Hayes, Ward 3’s Tom Kendall, Ward 5’s Larry Pelletier and at-large representatives Francois Bussiere and Laurie Tannenbaum.

Their original affidavit was incomplete and lacked specifics, according to a memorandum from City Attorney Dan Stockford to city councilors.

Stockford said that according to Auburn’s charter, the petition must explain the roles each member of the committee serves, include a sworn statement identifying the elected official they are seeking to unseat and a statement explaining why the recall is being mounted.

According to Stockford, it should also explain the “grounds for the recall should relate to and directly affect the administration of the official’s office and be of a substantial nature directly affecting the rights and interests for the public.”

The original petition includes a simple statement: “I [the undersigned] am signing the following recall petition against school committee member___________. I support education and feel that the policy and decision matters for Auburn’s school need to be changed.”

That was not sufficient according to the city charter, Stockford said in his memo.

Farrell said it has been fixed.

“It’s been revised, and now it’s awaiting everyone’s signatures,” Farrell said.

[email protected]

Auburn Maine June 2013 School recall review by Scott Taylor


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.