THIENSVILLE — Candidates who are facing a recall on the Mequon-Thiensville School Board held a rally Monday night. Supporters of board Vice President Wendy Francour and members Erik Hollander, Akram Kahn, and Chris Schulz gathered to hear 3 of the 4 speak and take questions from the audience.
Influential community leaders who support the current board members spoke on their behalf. Many called the recall election a mistake.
“They are very disruptive for the board, divisive for the community, there’s just no reason to do it. Wait 'til the next regular election," said Peter Stone, the former School Board President.
Wendy Francour, who faces losing her seat in the recall, says she believes this is politically motivated. "This is a national playbook for political agendas that have absolutely no place on school boards nor in schools," said Francour.
Recall organizers gathered more than 18,000 total signatures, 4,135 for each candidate, in support of the recall, and had them certified last month. They believe the board abdicated their duties to the unelected superintendent of the district, particularly when it came to COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Francour says that is how the board is designed to run. “We are a policy governance board. What that means is we establish the policies by which the district is run, and we provide oversight and that is the most effective way for school boards to engage with administrators," said Francour.
The supporters and organizers of the recall see politics on both sides of this race, and pushed back against the allegations this is all politically motivated.
“I think their political beliefs form what they stand for, what they believe in. I don’t think that hinders their abilities to perform on a school board and make decisions,” said Amber Schroeder.
The school board election takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Early absentee is already underway in the district. Recall supporters are also running their own candidates against the incumbents. You can see a sample ballot here that includes those running for the seats. They include, Kristopher Kittell, Scarlett Johnson, Charles Lorenz, and Cheryle Rebholz.