EDITOR'S NOTE: On Monday, Sept. 21, petitioner Siena Snedeker filed a new application with a new statement for the recall petition. The new statement reads:
"We the people of Lake Havasu City, are requesting a recall of Lisa Roman, LHUSD #1 Governing Board President. President Roman's failure to engage, thoughtfully discuss and understand the science that she claims to be following has proven detrimental to our students. She is violating her stated July 2018 claim of, 'In any decision-making platform whether it's a school board, state, or national office that the push and pull of ideas is a good thing.' Furthermore, her unwillingness to fully open our schools (K-12) has demonstrated that she is serving teachers at the expense of students and parents. Additionally, the petition dated May 25, 2020, signed by President Roman addressed to LHUSD #1 Governing Board and received at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org shows the blatant willingness to violate AZ Revised Statues (ARS) 15-112 Prohibitive Courses and Classes ('I'm a current member of the school board and I support providing the educational resources your letter describes.'), ARS 15-341 General Powers and Duties, as well as, LHUSD #1 Board Policies found at lhusd.org IGD, A, AD, AD-E, IA, BCA, IHAMB, BBA, and IB. We the people of Lake Havasu City find this dangerous to the academic and social development of our students."
The new petition filing deadline is Dec. 21 by 5 p.m., according to County Superintendent Michael File.
Lake Havasu Unified School District Board President Lisa Roman is the subject of a recall effort.
Sienna Snedeker, a parent and a business owner, pulled petition papers Thursday with the intention of recalling Roman from the board. Mohave County Superintendent Michael File said Wednesday that he has had “several inquiries” from concerned parents about the recall process, and he met with Snedeker on Thursday afternoon to discuss the process in depth — which is now officially underway, starting with a petition.
“Lisa has failed multiple times to listen to her constituents’ wants in regards to their children,” Snedeker wrote in her petition statement. “Mrs. Roman has proven to be verbally combative and argumentative with other board members, parents and other vested constituents who have differing views as her and has made it very difficult for those with differing views to be heard. Her gross abuse of power and severe negligence to her duties is no longer wanted; publicly stating that she is the president and can override any vote is making a blatant statement that it’s her way or the highway. It has been decided by her constituents that she does not have the student’s best interest in mind.”
Snedecker has three students of her own — a first, fourth and seventh grader. She recently pulled them from the district, opting instead for home schooling alternatives.
“I’m just not a fan of the school board’s behavior,” she said. “There are high schoolers watching the way they interact with one another, and it’s just not acceptable. It trickles down to the schools eventually.”
She explained that there were about 15 people who expressed interest in filing for Roman’s recall, but she happened to be the first person headed up to Kingman, allowing her to meet with File Thursday. She’s giving a notice of the petition to the district as a courtesy, and Roman will be officially notified of the petition within the next 48 hours by File.
But Roman was already aware of the effort to remove her from the board, and she believes Snedeker’s petition statement is a “work of fiction rooted in rumors, bad-faith assumptions, and outright lies.”
Roman was elected to the school board in 2018, and her term is set to expire in December 2022. She is serving as the 2020 school board president, a title that rotates between board members each year.
While she said she takes a hardline stance on issues that require such, Roman has also “yielded ground and found reasonable compromises on many board items,” she said.
“I, like the other board members, have strong opinions on a variety of education-related topics, and it is appropriate for me to make my argument as persuasively as possible,” she said.
Roman said her critics are taking issue with her statements at the Sept. 15 board meeting, when board member Nichole Cohen wanted to play a video that hadn’t been submitted as part of the agenda and made comments not outlined in her agenda item.
“Nichole Cohen was not presenting her agenda item as it appeared in our board packet,” Roman said. “Her extemporaneous remarks were only appropriate after discussion had been opened by board motion, in accordance with open meeting law.”
Roman also denies ever making the claim that she can “override any vote,” as claimed by Snedeker in the petition statement, and challenges anyone to find evidence that substantiates Sneker’s charge against her.
“It’s said that ‘a clear conscience makes the softest pillow,’” Roman said. “I rest easy at night knowing that my commitment to LHUSD schools and students’ best interests is at the forefront of every decision I make as a board member.”
Snedeker has until Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. to file the petition with at least 3,607 valid signatures — which represents 25 percent of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for Roman’s seat divided by the number of offices that were being filled at that election, according to Arizona Revised Statutes 19-201.
File recommends collecting 500 to 600 more to ensure enough valid signatures. The paper petition can only be signed by registered voters within the LHUSD boundaries, Snedeker explained, and she has no doubt that they’ll be able to collect enough names within the next 90 days.
According to state law, given the petition is qualified, Roman will have five days (excluding weekends and holidays) after the petition is filed to submit her resignation if she so chooses. In that case, it would be accepted and the vacancy would be filled by the county superintendent.
If she does not resign, a special recall election will be called within the next 15 days. The recall election would be held on “the next following consolidated election date that is 90 days or more after the order is issued,” according to ARS 19-209.
Roman’s name will appear on the ballot, along with a statement of defense and any other nominated candidates for the position.
Another unofficial petition that calls for Roman’s removal from the board has been circulated online via change.org, and it’s collected 413 signatures since it was started by Pablo Morales after Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Morales’ written reasoning for the petition on change.org says, “She does not support the majority of the parents’ views. She has made many poor decisions, not allowing members of the board to speak when they do not agree with her agenda. She refuses to listen to parents or children and has made attempts to not hear emails from the public during scheduled times during board meetings.”
He added that “she is not following CDC guidelines appropriately and has taken her fear into our district,” claiming that the district’s children are suffering both physically and mentally as a result.