School Official Asked To Quit -- Mukilteo Board Chief's Style Draws Angry Remarks

MUKILTEO - Embattled School Board President Bob Hall has no plans to step down, despite calls for his resignation at last night's packed School Board meeting.

Hall was accused of meddling too much in the running of the schools, of being rude and violating School Board policies.

When asked after the meeting whether any of the claims were valid, Hall replied:

"Absolutely not."

Parent activist Andy Hopson led the charge against Hall, who was elected to the board in November.

"You have attempted to deceive your constituents," said Hopson, who, with the support of many in the 150-plus crowd, asked Hall to resign at the School Board meeting. "You have most certainly violated board policies you were elected to uphold."

Hopson, co-chairman of the district's levy committee and founder of the Mukilteo Schools Foundation, said Hall's letters to Kamiak Principal Bill Sarvis violated board policy that says "the board will not assume the administrative function."

The letters related to a Feb. 8 meeting with Sarvis, assistant Bruce Ullock and the school's Community Relations Committee, of which Hall, whose daughter attends Kamiak, is a member. The meeting was held to discuss possible changes to an athletics drug-and-alcohol policy.

Hall sent Sarvis a letter Feb. 21 saying he and Ullock "looked and sounded totally inept.

"It has become extremely obvious that you only value certain staff members' opinion and that hell will freeze over before the opinions of a representative group like this will be recognized," Hall wrote.

After Sarvis sent Hall a response saying his memo was "inappropriate, inaccurate and derogatory," Hall sent another letter March 11, along with minutes of the original meeting and a list of people who he said supported his version of the meeting.

Critics speaking at the board meeting also accused Hall of lying about site councils, made up of staffers and community members. They help to determine a school's goals, and work with the principal on budgets and other issues.

Critics say a March 22 electronic memo from Hall to Superintendent James Shoemake proves Hall lied to the public when he said at an earlier board meeting that site councils aren't mandated. The e-mail, dated days earlier, complained about Sarvis not supporting a site council and accused him of "insubordination."

Shoemake, who will leave at the end of the year to become the superintendent of Tacoma schools, said the problem was a miscommunication between him and Sarvis, who didn't realize he was supposed to include parents at a meeting he held. Kamiak has since begun meetings between staff members - many of whom were at last night's meeting to express their support for Sarvis - and parents to discuss the issue.

Hall said he saw no problem with his letters to Sarvis because they were from him as a parent, not as a board member. He also didn't see a problem with his letter as a board president to Shoemake about Sarvis and site councils because that was intended as internal correspondence.

Tim Allen, a parent, spoke in Hall's defense, saying voters chose Hall, George Anillo and Ron Woldeit in November over incumbents because they wanted change. Allen said that if Hall offended some parents, that needs to be addressed, but that people should see that Hall is working to increase parental involvement.

"I was offended as a parent that we weren't involved" in Kamiak's first meeting about site councils, Allen added.