29, but it was quickly discovered that it had too few signatures: It had
10 and needed 50.
The intent states that the recall group has lost confidence in the
school board's ability to "lead, listen and make appropriate decisions
affecting the future of our children, including but not limited to your
grossly inept handling of the recent budget issues facing the district."
The district is facing a $3-million deficit and has been working to
rectify mistakes made by the previous fiscal management team, as well as
the rising cost of special education and worker compensation. The board
is six weeks from approving a presently unfinished 2002-03 budget.
"A few weeks ago, they wanted to recall us for dismissing the
superintendent," board vice president Trish Burnett said. "Now they want
to recall us for following the budget recommendations of that
Burnett said she is not overly concerned about the recall intent but
is troubled that the school district would have to pay for a recall
election. City Clerk Margarita Campos estimated the cost of an election
to be $100,000 -- roughly the salary of two teachers. Campos added that
the recall could be on the ballot in February.
Newly elected board president Richard Raad said he was disappointed
that the intent to recall was back in motion.
"I thought we were moving in a good direction," Raad said. "I'm a
little surprised there is still this sentiment. I thought things were
starting to be worked out and that we could move forward together."
Raad said he, too, was concerned about the cost of the election.
"We're talking about people's salaries here," Raad said. "Now we're
going to have to think about reducing more."
Janet White, one of the recall group members, declined to comment.