Blackfoot School District trustee Jenny Hong announced her resignation from the Blackfoot School Board on Monday. Hong, along with the district's former chairman, Scott Reese, who resigned last week, were in the early stages of being recalled by a group called "Concerned Citizens of District 55" because of "actions and decisions made by the board in regard to the separation agreement between the district and former superintendent Scott Crane."
Hong's statement reads: "I would like to inform our community that I am resigning from my position as a member of the Blackfoot School District No. 55 Board of Trustees, effective immediately."
"I am truly grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve the children of our district. I have always done my best to make decisions with the board for educating our children. Though some may disagree, I know that the decision that we made as a board with respect to the separation agreement was what was best for our district and our children."
"I wish the other board members the best as they continue to serve our children and know they will continue to make the best decisions for the district."
Hong stated that she would make no further comments on the matter. Blackfoot School District also issued a statement on Monday saying that they would not comment on Hong's resignation.
Hong joined the Blackfoot School Board in May of 2011, representing Zone 2, after receiving 75 percent of the votes defeating incumbent J.D. Tolman for the seat. In July of 2012, Hong was elected by the board to serve as its clerk/treasurer.
Rick Bigler, a former Blackfoot School District board member and spokesman for "Concerned Citizens of District 55," said he respects Hong [and Reese] for their decisions to withdraw from the board.
"This will go a long way in helping to resolve the hurt and division within the community," he said. "I believe that the intent of the board [in regard to Scott Crane's separation agreement] was for the betterment of the schools, but some of the poor decisions that they made along the way have come back to haunt them."
Bigler said that it will be up to the three remaining board members (Mary Jo Marlowe, Pete Lipovac and Taylor Johansen) to appoint replacements for Hong and Reese and that "Concerned Citizens of District 55" will press on to find qualified candidates to run in May's school board election.
Now that a recall election is no longer needed, Bingham County Clerk's Election Director Marlene Jensen estimated the recall election could have cost taxpayers about $2,000.