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Petition has been filed.

Onalaska School Board Member Jake Speed Will Face Recall Election

Organizers of the Jake Speed Recall movement needed to collect 1,743 signatures to trigger a new election, and they announced today that they have exceeded this amount by collecting an impressive 2,356 signatures. With this announcement, paperwork will be delivered to the district office at noon today (October 2, 2017), and Jake Speed will have a time period in which he can decide to resign permanently from the board or face another election.

The non-partisan recall drive began two months ago in reaction to Jake Speed’s controversial behavior. Speed has refused to participate in new Board member orientation, mentoring, committee assignments, and attendance at critical meetings. He deliberately made false claims against the District and its officials implying the District had not complied with its legal obligations and announced to the media that he filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s Office. No complaint has ever been filed. Mr. Speed deliberately filed a false criminal complaint against the school district with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), publicized his false complaint, and then later acknowledged that his claims were false. Speed has improperly accessed District premises and threatened, harassed, and/or intimidated District employees in their places of work. He has been disrespectful and belligerent at school Board meetings by regularly and persistently talking over other Board members, raising his voice, becoming combative, and threatening board members. (Taken from the successful motion to censure Jake Speed - Onalaska Board of Education Notes, http://lacrossetribune.com/censure-motion/pdf_0e874335-332b-59be-b618-2ed906725664.html)

The reaction of the community towards the recall has been overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced not only by the number of signatures but the many community members who worked to make this truly grassroots effort possible.

Justin Steele, creator of the website, Recall Jake Speed, which initially measured community support for a recall and continued to educate the public throughout process said, "I am appalled by the behavior and antics of Mr. Speed. It seems to me he is more interested in snaring other board members rather than focusing on the educational needs of our community."

According to Mark Cassellius, former school board member and recall petitioner, “This is not a personal attack on an individual; it is an opportunity for voters in the School District of Onalaska to reflect on the actions of Jake Speed and decide if this is who they really want representing them as an elected official on our school board.”

Deana Verdon, former Onalaska School Board member, confirmed she will run against Speed in the new election and commented, “I think we need people on the board whose number one concern is the students and the community. There shouldn’t be any other agenda.”

Past Board president, Tom Kennedy expressed, “The Onalaska community has stepped up to help the School District maintain its status as a district with educational excellence. By recalling Jake Speed, the Board will be able to conduct its meetings in a constructive and collaborative manner. Thank you to all who signed the recall petition; now let's move forward and not look back.”

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