WATSONVILLE—An effort to recall Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Georgia Acosta has failed after organizers were unable to gather the roughly 2,200 signatures needed before Monday’s deadline to put it before voters.
Efforts to recall Acosta began early this year after the Area II Trustee, who had recently been sworn in as board president, led a charge to oust PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez and replace her.
Rodriguez’s termination was reversed after days of public outcry. The board censured Acosta during a meeting in March, in a resolution that among other things accused her of missing numerous meetings and not publicly giving a reason for the termination.
A May 13 Pajaronian investigation found that Acosta has missed a total of 28 out of 135 possible meetings since 2016, which is a little more than 20%.
Acosta did not respond to a request for comment for this story. In a public statement opposing the recall, Acosta called the effort a “witch-hunt,” said that she was battling cancer for the past few years, and claimed that her attendance record is around 85%. She also said that a recall would be a pricey endeavor for the area’s taxpayers—estimates put the cost of the special election anywhere between $42,960 and $77,328.
“My primary focus has always been to benefit the students, families, employees and taxpayers of the PVUSD,” Acosta wrote.
The recall supporters in an email thanked the group of volunteers that helped with the effort. They did not say how many signatures they ultimately gathered.
“We all knew gathering the large number of valid signatures required to move the recall to the ballot was going to be an uphill battle,” the statement reads. “Both the level of community support we saw, and the overwhelmingly positive response we received while canvassing gives us hope that Georgia Acosta will be voted out of office if she decides to run for re-election.”
Acosta was first elected into office in 2016. She ran unopposed in 2020 and is slated to be on the board through 2024.
According to Ballotpedia, there have been at least 69 recall efforts against 181 school board members this year. Of those board members facing a recall, only one has been removed from office in an election, and seven resigned from office. The vast majority of recall efforts are either still underway (73) or did not go to a vote (85).