Community reacts to Hong's departure
While Blackfoot School District 55 trustee Jenny Hong's announcement on Monday to resign from the board may not have come as a big surprise, patrons still reacted strongly to the news.
Hong has been embroiled in the controversy regarding the district's $220,000 payout to former superintendent Scott Crane prompting recall efforts against her and former district chairman Scott Reese, who resigned last week.
Rick Bigler, spokesperson for the group the group "Concerned Citizens of District 55," the group that spearheaded the recall efforts against Hong and Reese, said he respects their decisions to withdraw from the board and believes it was the right thing to do.
"I personally like Jenny [Hong] and 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."
"This will go a long way in helping to resolve the hurt and division within the community," he said.
Joni Merrick of Blackfoot said, "I think we are losing a caring and amazing school board member. How difficult would it be to have to stay silent for the good the of the district? I respect Jenny for doing what she believes is right and best for the district."
Jadi Austin of Blackfoot asked, "I'm curious to know if the truth will come out now that these board members resigned."
Blackfoot School District officials declined to comment on Hong's resignation.