With the launch of the recall, PVUSD administrator Acosta views the effort as a “witch hunt”
The group leading the recall campaign for Pajaro Valley Unified School District administrator Georgia Acosta planned to file their petition last week, and organizers expect they will soon begin collecting the necessary signatures so that the question is put on the ballot.
“We are prepared and ready, we are in the game for a good electoral contest, and we believe that the community deserves to know how it is not represented. And they deserve better representation, ”said Carol Turley, Georgia Acosta Recall Committee member, in a June 2 interview.
In addition, Acosta has submitted a response that will be included in the official campaign documentation if the article is presented to voters. The 198-word statement, filed with the Santa Cruz County clerk on May 24, was Acosta’s first time to respond to multiple allegations presented by the recall committee.
This includes the absence of many board meetings, dismissal of PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez without explanation to the community, lack of participation on committees and attempt to stifle public comment, among others.
“My main goal has always been to benefit students, families, employees and taxpayers from PVUSD,” Acosta wrote.
In her response, Acosta also states that she has battled cancer for the past few years and attended over 85% of meetings during her tenure on the board. A May 13 Pajaronian Inquiry found that Acosta missed a total of 28 out of 135 possible appointments, or just over 20%.
PVUSD administrator Kim De Serpa, who has served on the board since 2010, said Acosta’s cancer disclosure was a surprise.
“In all the years that we have been on the board together, she never hinted that she was sick,” De Serpa said in a text message. “To my knowledge, she never notified the superintendent’s office, or a sitting president, that she would be absent. She just didn’t want to introduce herself. Likewise, his late entries and early departures were always unexplained. The Trustees are a caring group of people and I know we all wish them well. “
Fourth District Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput and Watsonville District 7 City Councilor Ari Parker were listed as supporters in Acosta’s response, along with various community organizers and business owners from the South County.
Acosta also says she has been an “independent voice in education” and has protested against “financial irregularities” in the neighborhood. In addition, Acosta wrote that she had been subjected to intimidation and harassment against dissenting opinions. Acosta also says she has spoken openly about the district’s inappropriate hiring practices and has fought against the hiring of unqualified teachers. The response also states that Acosta objected to the “inappropriate PVUSD relationship with district management / superintendent”.
Acosta did not respond to a call, text, and email asking it to expand on these statements.
The statement ends with Acosta calling on the public to “Stop the witch hunt [sic] it could cost taxpayers up to $ 100,000! “
It likely won’t cost that much for the special election, which organizers hope to bring to voters in March 2022. Santa Cruz County Clerk Tricia Webber said it would cost between $ 5 and $ 9 per voter registered in the election. Acosta administration area, or approximately 8,592. This would make the possible cost between $ 42,960 and $ 77,328.
The committee will have 90 days to collect approximately 2,500 necessary signatures after the county clerk verifies their petition.