Four Capistrano unified School District Trustees -- Sheila Benecke, Marlene Draper, Duane Stiff and Mike Darnold -- are being served recall notices this afternoon. My understanding is the recall notices were to be served today at the CUSD Board of Trustees closed session, where they'll be discussing a pay raise for acting interim Superintendent Suzette Lovely.
The Notice of Intention sets for the grounds for the recall (while this one mentions Trustee Sheila Benecke, this preamble is identical to that in the other the notices of intention to recall:
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO CIRCULATE RECALL PETITION
TO THE HONORABLE SHEILA J. BENECKE: Pursuant to Section 11020, California Elections Code, the undersigned registered qualified voters of the Capistrano Unified School District in the State of California, hereby give notice that we are the proponents of a recall petition and that we intend to seek your recall and removal from the office of Trustee, in the Capistrano Unified School District, in the State of California, and to demand election of a successor in that office. The grounds for the recall are as follows:
You have permitted a culture of corruption to infect our school district.
You permitted district personnel to use scarce district resources to create unlawful lists of your political “enemies” -- including children. You engaged in illegal closed session meetings where district business was conducted in secret. You and your staff repeatedly provided false information to the public regarding district finances. You failed to effectively control your staff – even giving your former superintendent (now indicted for multiple felonies) a standing ovation and lucrative retirement package just hours after police investigators armed with search warrants raided his office.
You grossly mismanaged district finances.
You are recklessly spending $52,000,000 on an administration building and over $140,000,000 for a single high school next to a dump -- while our schools are in dire need of repairs and students are crammed into substandard portable classrooms with non-functioning restrooms. Your reckless deficit spending has created a self-inflicted, multi-million dollar budget crisis that has put our children at risk and resulted in massive program cutbacks – overcrowding classrooms and severely diminishing the quality of education.
You have arrogantly disregarded the public by repeatedly ignoring problems until they become crises.
You have broken the public’s trust. www.cusdrecall.com
Draper and Benecke have been CUSD Trustees since the dawn of time...or more accurately, since 1988 and 1992, respectively. The other two targeted trustees, Duane Stiff and Mike Darnold, were both appointed in 2000 and elected in their own right in 2004. There was a lot of that going on the CUSD Board of Trustees in the Fleming Era: Instead of not running for re-election, trustees would retire by resigning so the Fleming Majority could appoint a compliant replacement who could subsequently stand for election as an incumbent.