Legg: Let voters recall board members
But state Rep. John Legg (left), R-New Port Richey, certainly had the Pasco County School Board member (right) in mind Friday when he introduced legislation that would allow voters to recall elected school board members.
"It has come to my attention through recent events and through researching statutes that school board members can't be recalled anywhere in Florida. I don't think that's right," said Legg, who proposed his idea as an amendment to a bill called the "Ethics in Education" act. "It came to my attention because of Cathi Martin. ... I heard about it when folks were trying to recall her."
Members of the Pasco Republican Executive Committee looked into how they might get Martin removed from office back in May 2007, after the Times reported that Martin had missed more than half of the board's meetings since her 2006 reelection to a third term. (See related story here.) They gave up after learning that only the governor has the authority to remove constitutional officers, but pledged to pursue the issue with local lawmakers.
The conversations stuck with Legg, who suggested that if educators are to be held to a higher ethical standard, so, too, should School Board members.
Pasco GOP chairman Bill Bunting praised the effort.
"I hope it gets legs up there,” Bunting said of the legislation, which Legg withdrew for further review leading to another meeting next week. "It isn't just a bill. It's we the people. They forget when they ask, 'Can I vote by proxy from my house?' ... (Martin) raised the awareness."
See tomorrow's St. Petersburg Times or tampabay.com for the full story.