Two Jamestown school trustees resign

March 06, 2002 11:00 pm

By ERIC BURKETT

Two members of the Jamestown School District Board of Trustees have resigned with one citing intimidation from anonymous sources as the reason for her decision to leave.

Kevin Johnson and Sue Raphael each resigned from the five-member Board of Trustees earlier this week. Johnson, a law enforcement officer, pleaded a full schedule.

But Raphael in her resignation letter said she felt she had been cut off from meaningful participation on the board, and that she was threatened with intimidating, anonymous letters.

... since the election of the current board, I no longer have a vote or a voice and cannot serve the students or the community in the manner that they deserve, stated Raphaels letter dated March 4 and written on her personal stationery.

The focus of the current board seems more concerned with politics and employee whining than what is best for the students.

Raphael further stated that, prior to the school board election last November, she had received many anonymous letters containing personal attacks on my children as well as myself.

Those attacks ceased after Cathy Stone-Carlson, Debbie York, and Stone-Carlsons son, Max Carlson, were elected to the board, she wrote. Mysteriously, once the newest board members were elected, this clandestine and yet malicious behavior has ceased only to resurface in the form of personal agendas being served by the newest members.

I have to say in closing that I worry about the students, including my own two children who still attend Jamestown School.

Attempts by The Union Democrat to contact Johnson and Raphael were unsuccessful.

Former board member Ron Borda, whose term ended last year, said this morning he had received three similar letters, but that his lawyer had advised him not to discuss the letters contents except to describe them as very personal, attacking.

All the past trustees had received similar letters, he said.

No one knows who sent them. Borda said he didnt care to discuss any other issues related to the Jamestown district.

No one on the current board was surprised by Johnsons resignation. Johnson had largely stopped attending meetings after last years election, but Raphaels resignation caught board members off guard.