Ketchikan recall vote points to removal of school board members

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Preliminary results from a vote Thursday indicate four of the five Ketchikan School Board members named in a recall petition have been removed from office.

But because of the slim difference in numbers for some of the board members, the results could change after about 400 absentee and questioned ballots are counted.

According to early returns, Bill Pfeifer would retain his seat on the board with only a 25-vote margin.

If the voting percentages don't change after the absentee and questioned ballots are counted, board president Hannah Ramiskey, vice president Sue Pickrell, secretary treasurer Dorothy Smestad and board member Al Johnson would be removed from office.

The ballot issue alleged that the board members violated the state Open Meetings Act in April 2000 by acting on a motion that was not on a meeting agenda. Pfeifer has said that he did not vote on that action, and therefore should not be recalled.

Voter turnout for the election, including absentee ballots, was 27 percent, or about 3,000 of the approximately 11,000 registered voters.

If the results don't change, Pfeifer and board members Choc Schafer and Earlene Brown would choose replacement board members.

When reached by phone Thursday night, Schafer declined to comment about the election or how she would go about choosing new board members.

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