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July 24, 2021

Acosta recall group begins gathering signatures following county approval

WATSONVILLE—The Santa Cruz County Elections Department on Wednesday approved a petition by a group seeking to recall Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Georgia Acosta.

The approval starts the 90-day period for the Committee to Recall Georgia Acosta to gather signatures from 25% of the registered voters—roughly 2,500 people—within PVUSD Trustee Area II, group member Carol Turley says.

If the committee successfully meets the Sept. 27 deadline, the recall would go before voters in March 2022. At the same time, voters would also vote for her replacement.

Acosta has come under fire for leading efforts to abruptly terminate PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez and then repeatedly refusing to give a reason for the move.

She was censured in March by her fellow Trustees. 

“We are pursuing this recall not because we want to, but because we have to,” Turley stated in a press release. “PVUSD Trustee Area II needs a new leader who can provide constructive governance that places children at the center of every decision. We are asking that Trustee Area II residents sign this petition so that you and your neighbors have a chance to vote on this important issue.”

Acosta has also missed roughly a fifth of PVUSD meetings since being elected in 2016, according to a Pajaronian report on absences by elected officials.

Committee member Jane Barr says that Acosta is “apathetic to her job as evidenced by her record to date.” 

Acosta has not responded to numerous requests from this newspaper for comment. She did not respond to an email and a phone call on Thursday.

In a public response to the recall petition, however, she called the efforts a “witch-hunt,” and said that she has battled cancer for the past few years.

“I have always had an independent voice in education with real financial accountability,” Acosta wrote.

She also stated that she “protested the financial improprieties with your tax dollars,” in addition to meeting with Congressman Jimmy Panetta to advocate for funds for the district. She also said that she has faced intimidation and bullying against her dissenting opinions.

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