The move to recall Payson School board members Mike Horton and Charles Brown took a direct hit Thursday.
Kim Pound, who was to oppose Horton in the proposed recall, surprisingly said he would not be a part of the effort and would discontinue seeking voters' signatures on recall petitions taken out weeks ago.
Pound said he was stepping away from the recall because he had met with Horton and "was very satisfied with the job he is doing (as a board member)."
Horton said he indeed had met with Pound, in a one-hour-plus meeting, and the two ironed out their differences. "It was an enlightening conversation and we cleared the air."
Pound's decision was a surprising turnaround from past weeks, when he has been sharply critical of the school board and the decisions the members have made.
Angela Lyons, who spearheaded the recall along with Pound, was caught off-guard by Pound's decision.
"I have no clue what is going on," she said. "He hasn't told me (he is stepping away), so I have no idea about this."
Lyons plans on continuing her recall efforts against Brown, whom she will oppose in the Nov. 7 election if she can collect a minimum of 1,078 signatures by the Aug. 8 deadline.
"I'm going to go ahead with this," she said.
Lyons also said she would talk with her husband, Dave, about replacing Pound as a recall candidate against Horton.
Originally, Dave Lyons took out recall papers against PUSD board member Don Engler, but later withdrew from the race.
She said he made the move because Engler was forthright and trying to make the best decisions for students, teachers and staff.
Pound also met Engler on Thursday and left the meeting saying he had come to an agreement to support Engler.
"I am very satisfied with what he is doing," Pound said.
That, too, was a turnaround for Pound who clashed with Engler during a July 13 board meeting which Engler participated in by cellular phone.
Pound argued that teachers and support staff should be adequately compensated first and administrators second because they are already making much higher salaries.
Engler refuted that saying all employees, whether they are teachers or administrators, deserved raises.
If Dave Lyons agrees to join the recall and oppose Horton in place of Pound, the board member would have the opportunity to relinquish his seat or oppose Lyons in the election.
"I am not resigning," Horton said.
Horton is attempting, however, to set up a meeting with Angela Lyons to discuss differences as he did with Pound.
"He has asked me to talk with him," Angela Lyons said.
Horton is convinced the entire recall movement was fueled by the board's decision last May not to renew the contract of Julia Randall Elementary School principal Peggy Miles.
"(Nonrenewal) was the superintendent's recommendation and we made the best decision we could," Horton said.
When recommendations arrive from the superintendent, Horton said, the individual members do not rubber stamp them, as has been accused by those involved in the recall. Rather, the board members study each recommendation carefully and come to their own decisions, Horton said.
Horton also believes the recall election, should it occur, would hurt chances of an upcoming $33 million bond being passed by voters.
"It would be a disaster for (the bond)," he said.
Angela Lyons said the recall would have no adverse affect on the bond because the two are entirely different issues.