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Judge rules against Impact Pickens’ recall

Lies, bullying led to former Supt. Townsend’s removal, according 

to testimony from school board members Smith and Holland


     Local advocacy group Impact Pickens did not get the news they hoped for in court last week when a judge ruled to dismiss their application to recall two school board members for their role in the termination of Dr. Rick Townsend. The judge’s ruling will stop the group’s efforts to recall those board members unless they file an appeal. 

The issue became public and contentious early this year when Townsend was dismissed without cause in a 3-2 vote by the school board. The system paid Townsend $420,000 to buyout his contract. Impact Pickens formed in response to the actions of board members Sue Finley, Steve Smith, and Aaron Holland, who they alleged conspired to have Townsend removed, displayed fiscal maleficence by wasting taxpayer money, and violated the open meetings act.

Impact Pickens, headed by Steve Lowe, began the process of having the two of those three board members removed. That recall process, which included collecting signatures from registered voters, was halted when board members Steve Smith and Aaron Holland filed a petition to have Impact Pickens’ application for board member removal reviewed by a judge. 

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