School Board Recall Election fails in Broken Bow

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BROKEN BOW, Neb. (KNOP) - Voters cast ballots at Broken Bow's Municipal Building Tuesday in the recall election against School Board Treasurer J.B. Atkins. The Broken Bow County Clerk Office reports 826 voted against the recall, 537 for it.

The final numbers represent the ballots cast Tuesday, plus mail-in and provisional ballots.

Original story: Nov. 14, 2017
Voters casted their ballots to decide the fate of one of their school board members on Tuesday.

They are deciding whether or not to oust school board Member and treasurer J.B. Atkins after the board approved a 5 percent budget cut earlier this year.

"The school is good shape no matter what people say, the school is in good shape, " said voter Matt Hirsch. "So I think the best thing for this school is to keep the board as it is now and to keep J.B. on."

The budget was reduced from $11.56 million to $10.99 million and led to the elimination of seven paraprofessionals.

"It's too bad that it rose to this," said Broken Bow Public Schools Superintendent Tom Bailey. "Since I've been here, we have been very fiscally responsible and so we did that and we did that in a very positive manner, as far as we didn't cut class sizes and we try to keep all of our programs, but it is not easy when you have to go out and tell people they don't have a job."

The public has until 8 p.m. to cast their votes.

"We had one legitimate election and that should be enough,' said voter Roger Larson. "After the election, the school board makes the decisions without a recall."

However, parents who are in support of the recall did not want to comment on camera but did say they are worried this could be a pattern of future cuts.

Former Broken Bow resident Drew Schendt believes the change in the budget was a misuse of the district's money. Schendt, who now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, initiated the recall on July 20 of both Atkins and Carl French.

The petition for J.B. Atkins was accepted.

However, the recall petition for French was filed three days after the deadline, leaving French in his position on the board.