Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/21/2012 08:54:01 PM PDT
Updated: 09/21/2012 10:04:32 PM PDT

FONTANA – An effort to recall two School Board members has gained an ally – the mayor.

“I’m all in,” said Aquanetta Warren, using the same phrase she used when she announced she would run for mayor.

“I have been getting so many telephone calls and e-mails from people in the community about what’s going on at the School Board … if I am going to lead this community, it’s my job to get those two on the ballot (of a recall election) and let the people decide.”

Warren was referring to the recall effort against Fontana Unified School District board members Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green.

Both Fontana Unified board members were served paperwork in July notifying them of a recall effort, but the campaign has been relatively low-profile since.

Backers of the effort cite the opposition of Green and Garcia to a city-run after-school program they say serves 3,500 students and provides more than 350 jobs.

But they also listed several other grievances in their petition filing in July.

Among those was Garcia’s vote last year to eliminate all the district’s counselors in budget-cutting move.

Their claims also include that Garcia spearheaded a failed parcel tax during one of the worst economic times since the Great Depression, and the $147,000 cost of the special election came at a time when programs and jobs were being eliminated.

“I am not concerned with the recall effort,” Garcia said. “Even if they get
the (required) signatures – and I don’t think they will – I can defeat this at the election.”

The election would be held in spring next year.

Garcia said the parcel tax was an effort to find revenues for the district, and while it was unsuccessful it was supported by more than 50 percent of the voters, she said. But that type of election required the measure to win by a two-thirds majority, she said.

Since the parcel tax failed, she said, other districts have moved toward their own parcel tax elections to raise revenues.

As for the counselors, it was a recommendation brought to the board by the district’s superintendent, she said.

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