Onalaska school board votes to recall member Jake Speed

Onalaska’s school board is officially calling for the recall a controversial member, voting in favor of a recall election for Jake Speed.

Earlier this month, members of the community — led by former board president Mark Cassellius — turned in a petition with 2,285 signatures requesting the recall.

They accused Speed of being disruptive at board meetings, preventing board business from being conducted and refusing to perform the duties of the office, among other complaints.

“The ultimate goal (of the recall) is the function of the district, and the kids and the families — the students and the families,” said Cassellius. “When we have a disfunctioning board, that’s very difficult to keep on task.”

Speed was formally censured by the rest of the board in April, prior to the recall campaign. A recall committee formed in the community a month later.

Following Monday night’s vote, potential challengers will now have a week to collect the 100 signatures needed to get on the recall ballot.

Speed did not attend Monday’s meeting. Board president Ann Garrity says Speed did not let the board’s secretary know he would be absent.

Previous attempts by News 8 to contact Speed for his comments on the recall efforts have been unsuccessful. The phone number listed for him on the district’s web page has blocked incoming calls and he has not responded to e-mails.

The recall election is tentatively scheduled for November 28th.

If more than one challenger collects enough signatures to get on the ballot, a primary will be held that day instead and the recall would be held in late December.