Meridian Chamber of Commerce issues statement

Posted at 3:29 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 19:10:50-04

The Meridian Chamber of Commerce is choosing sides in the West Ada School District recall election.

The group held a news conference on April 28th, urging citizens to recall school district trustees Tina Dean and Carol Sayles.

“The Chamber’s Board of Directors believe the egregious behavior of the West Ada School District Board has resulted in significant financial increases to the school budget, resignations of key administrative staff, questionable meeting practices, and a serious lack of transparency,” said Anne Little Roberts, President & CEO of the Meridian Chamber. “The Meridian Chamber of Commerce believes this is a very important issue that negatively impacts our children as well as the vitality of the business community and urges you to get informed. Please join us in assuring our West Ada School District returns their primary focus to our children and vote to recall the Trustees of Zones 1 and 3.”

“We are very pleased that the Meridian Chamber has endorsed the recall of Tina Dean and Carol Sayles,” said Christine Donnell, former Joint School District #2 Superintendent and co-chair of Concerned Citizens of West Ada, the group advocating for the recall. “The business community is an important partner of the West Ada School District because they understand the significant impact that the quality of our education system has on our local economy. With each board member having one of five votes on a board that controls a $400 million dollar annual budget, it is critical to have responsible trustees who put the needs of our children and grandchildren first.”

The chamber calls the behavior of the West Ada board egregious and claims that the trustees are not being transparent.

"We don't believe it’s impacted the students yet but all organizations have a trickledown effect and eventually if things aren't straightened out, it will impact the children," Roberts said.

The conference was held less than a week after a document was leaked to the 6 On Your Side Newsroom explaining how the Chamber of Commerce was concerned that the West Ada Board could be hurting Meridian’s image.

When 6 On Your Side contacted Roberts, she claimed she had no idea where the document came from and said she never wrote it.

The document that was released at the news conference had many of the original statements deleted.