KOOSKIA – Petitioners have less than 75 days to gather enough signatures to put the recall of Kooskia Mayor Charlotte Schilling up for special election.
The clock began ticking Jan. 7 when city clerk Teresa Lytle verified by letter a prospective recall petition – submitted Dec. 28 -- contained 20 signatures of qualified electors, as confirmed by the Idaho County Clerk’s Office. At this point, petitioners will have to collect 45 signatures of qualified electors, which according to code is equal in number to 20 percent of those electors registered to vote in the last city election.
The two-page recall petition, submitted Dec. 28, by Irene Finehout, demands Schilling be recalled due to “hostile actions against Kooskia Ambulance grievously endanger the 3,000-plus people residing within the agency’s service area.”
The petition lists 11 bullet points on Schilling’s alleged actions against the ambulance service, including firing the agency’s officers (president, secretary, supply officer) without following established procedure, made multiple knowingly false public statements a criminal investigation was under way on its members, crippled the agency’s ability to bill Medicare for services by firing the secretary, reorganized the agency in doing away with elected officers and agency standard operating procedures, and acting unprofessionally toward EMTs multiple times.
According to code, in the event the petition contains the required number of signatures, the officer being recalled is given five business days to resign the office. In the event the officer chooses not to resign, a special election must be held on the next available date. According to the Idaho election calendar, the earliest election is March 12, followed by May. 21.
However, if the petition does not meet the required number of signatures within the deadline, the officer continues in office and no new recall petition can be circulated for 90 days.
Schilling has served as mayor since being appointed in 2007, previously serving 2.5 years on the city council. She ran unopposed in the 2015 election, receiving 23 votes out of 26 total cast; city voter turnout was 10.4 percent. The four-year-term Kooskia mayor position comes open in city elections this November.