School Board Recall Election Would be Paid for By Richland Schools
According to the Benton County Auditor's office, Elections Division, if a Richland School Board recall vote does happen, the District will pay for it.
Some confusion over who bears the cost
It depends upon, first, if petitioners can gather enough signatures to get the measure on a ballot. A Benton County Superior Court judge approved the recall petition for Semi Bird, Audra Byrd, and Kari Williams.
Petitioners have thrown a variety of accusations at the trio, including claiming they broke the 'law' when they 'forced' a February vote on lifting RSD's mask mandate, and other claims.
Richland Schools would foot the bill
Via email, we confirmed that if the petitioners gather the required number of signatures by the required date set by the court, then the Richland School District would have to pay the cost of the election. Whether it's a special separate election, which is more expensive, or if it's part of the regular primary or general election ballot, it costs money.
Benton County had to foot the cost of the Sheriff Hatcher recall which saw him removed from office.
Taxpayer money would be used to try to oust candidates citizens voted for
It is the law but seems rather counter-intuitive. Richland District taxpayers would see their money go towards trying to defeat the candidates they voted for.
County officials say that's why it's difficult to get a recall approved. The requirements involve several hurdles, to ensure the recall is legitimate.
The petitioners will now have to obtain at least enough signatures for the recall to equal 25% of the votes the three board members received in the last election. Audra Byrd received 11,385, Misipati Byrd got 11,196, and Kari Williams (who was elected in 2019) got 9.983.
The District will be paying for the election, should one come about.
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