Wednesday, June 17, 2015
R-8 Board schedules special meeting to discuss petitions
The posted agenda says, "Discussion regarding legal guidance for Joplin Schools response to Petition for Writ Mandamus filed in the Associate Court of Jasper County, MO."
The board has until Monday to respond to the petition, which was filed Friday by Anderson attorney Jonathan Pierce, representing Joplin residents Joshua Bard, Jon Buck, and Jamie Johnson.
This description of the writ of mandamus petition comes from the June 16 Turner Report:
The action against the board asks the judge for a writ of mandamus ordering the board to seat Jim Kimbrough and for board secretary Pat Waldo to administer the oath of office to him. In documentation filed with the petition, Pierce says that when a vote to put Kimbrough on the board during the May 26 meeting ended 3-2 with Board President Jeff Koch, Debbie Fort, and Jennifer Martucci saying "yes" and Lynda Banwart and Mike Landis voting "no," the simple majority was enough to put Kimbrough on the board. Board member Randy Steele had resigned just before the meeting.
Two days later, Landis announced his resignation, saying that his purpose was to send the decision on who the new board members would be to the Jasper County Commission which, according to state law, makes the choice if three or more vacancies exist. The petition says that only two vacancies existed because Kimbrough should have been seated to replace Lane Roberts.
Pierce also filed a petition for writ of mandamus against the County Commission, asking Judge Hensley to rule that Kimbrough had been seated and that the Commission's decision to appoint Gary Nodler, Sallie Beard, and Ron Gatz should never have happened since there were never three vacancies.