School board recall effort expands to include Maria Machuca

May 30th, 2013 | by Brett Kelman | Comments

A group of disgruntled parents have expanded their recall efforts to include a fifth member of the Coachella Valley Unified school board.

Board member Maria Machuca has been added to the list of officials that the group is attempting to recall, according to documents filed with the Riverside County registrar’s office. Machuca125

The group is also trying to recall Manual Jarvis-Martinez, Lisa Anna Vargas, Joe Murillo and board President Lowell Kamper. Only two members of the board, Juanita Duarte and Meagan Caress, have been spared by the recall effort.

Machuca could not immediately be reached for comment.

The recall proponents argue that these board members have been irresponsible with school district money and have destabilized schools by removing principals without justification. The group spells out its arguments against the board in documents filed at the registrar’s office.

Here are some snapshots of the “notice of intention” to recall Machuca. (The arguments to recall the other board members are identical.)



Snap3Snap2At this point, the recall group is small. Only 10 supporters are required to sign the notices of intent to recall, and the process of collecting signatures has not yet begun. The board members have until tomorrow to respond to the allegations in the notice of intention.

Once the registrar has collected arguments from both sides, a recall petition will be finalized and proponents can begin collecting signatures.

The group will have a 120-day window to collect 4,109 valid signatures for each board member they attempt to recall, according to the registrar’s office.

The recall group first served the board with recall notices on May 2, but their recall effort was interrupted by a paperwork error. The documents served to board members did not include a section required by law – informing board members that they could respond to the allegations – so the recall group had to restart the process by serving new notices.

Kamper has said the error exposed the group’s “lack of knowledge” about the recall process.

“It is my opinion that the recall petitioners are a poorly organized fringe group being advised by former administrators,” Kamper said in an e-mail statement.

Education reporter Brett Kelman can be reached on the phone at (760) 778-4642, through email at and through Twitter @TDSbrettkelman.


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