By Gabriela Mendoza
LBCC students call the actions of the Board of Trustees unjust and show support of the intent to recall members of the Board.
Student Trustee Jason Troia led the movement, serving them with a vote of no confidence and the notice of intent to recall four members of the Board on April 23.
However, the paperwork for the recall has not yet been filed as of Wednesday, May 29, according to the Los Angeles County registrar’s office.
LBCC President Eloy Oakley said, “Thus far there is no recall election because the L.A. County registrar’s office has not ruled on the recall petition submitted by the handful of students driving this issue. I believe the effort to recall four trustees is misguided and a waste of taxpayer resources given that a regular trustee election is scheduled for next year.”
Troia said, “The papers have been filed, but were not accepted. Some corrections as far as the wording have to be made.”
The members being targeted for recall are Doug Otto, Roberto Uranga, Jeff Kellogg and Tom Clark.
Clark was the only member of the Board who was not present to receive his papers of intent to be recalled.
Reasons for the recall include the discontinuance of various programs such as aviation maintenance, photography, auto mechanical engineering, interior design and recording.
Troia said that decisions made about the discontinuance of these programs were done behind closed doors, furthering the decision to start the recall efforts.
Once the paperwork is accepted, proof of service must be filed and published. Next the officers being recalled will be given a chance to respond to the recall and a finance report for the costs of the recall will be made.
Grace Medina, 24, an anthropology major, said, “I am so glad to finally see someone take the initiative to take back control over the education for us students.”
A recall is the power of the people who vote for an elected official to remove the elected officer from office.
James Cross, 31, an auto mechanical engineering major, said, “Personally, I don’t feel like the Board members have the right to question the reasons as to why students want to have them recalled. They did something terrible to us, they took away our right to education in our fields, the right to gain knowledge and become successful in a competitive world.” Although members of the Board have denied Troia’s claims of excluding students on key decisions, the rules of recall listed in Los Angeles County’s guide to recall state that no review on the sufficiency of the reasons for recall may be made.
The guide states that the purpose of the written notice of recall is intended to keep voters informed.
L.A. County’s guide to recall also states that all costs of a recall election are to be charged to the government agency whose officials are being recalled.
Elizabeth Patoski, 20, an English major, said, “I think it’s great that students are wanting to be involved, but I’ve heard that recalls are expensive. My fear is that the money spent on the recall might put other programs here at risk of being cut.”
Indeed Oakley has said that a recall could cost the school district up to $1.4 million.
Oakley said, “The current student trustee and ASB leadership have refused to engage in dialogue and have not been interested in listening. I am hopeful that the new student trustee and ASB leadership will engage in true dialogue so that the relationship can be mended for the benefit of all students.”