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Sunnyside school board members facing possible recall

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A second recall effort is now taking place in the Sunnyside School district.

Four out of five school board members are now facing a possible recall election.  Residents are now collecting signatures to oust Board president Louie Gonzales, Bobby Garcia, Daniel Hernandez, Jr. and Buck Crouch.

The first effort began right after a controversial school board meeting where dozens of residents showed up protest the extension of Dr. Manuel Isquierdo's contract.

Louie Gonzales, Bobby Garcia, and Eva Dong angered many residents by voting in favor of keeping Dr. Isquierdo.

Richard Hernandez formed the Sunnyside recall committee to start the process of gathering signatures to oust the board members. 

The second recall effort began Sunday, when Gonzales and Garcia responded by forming their own recall committee to oust Hernandez and Crouch.

"This is just an example of the pettiness that's been going on in the district for a long time," said Hernandez.

Louie Gonzales who has served on the board for 14 years during two separate terms said he had looked forward to serving his last term and retiring, but this had now lit a fire under him to fight for his job.

Garcia said he had overwhelmingly won the recent election 6 months ago, and was outraged he had to go through this.

The only person not facing a recall was board member Eva Dong.  Residents behind the recall effort said she was up for re-election so they decided not to go after her.

Some residents also questioned the use of taxpayer money to throw a "welcome home rally" for the Sunnyside little league team who won the world series championship last week.

Richard Hernandez, who was spear heading the recall effort against Gonzales and Garcia said, "As far as I am concerned, for a school district that is in financial difficulties, we are spending a lot of money on other activities.  The superintendent and other members want to go, great, but do resources need to be spent on that? We need to take a serious look at that."

Hernandez said parents and the little league team fund should have paid for the party.

Daniel Hernandez said he did not attend the rally because he felt it was taking away from the girl's time in the limelight, and he did not want this to be about politicians.

Bobby Garcia and Gonzales said they were proud to be part of the rally to celebrate their district's victory.  Gonzales said the team had made the whole state proud, while Garcia pointed out the University of Arizona had celebrated with a larger rally when they won championship games.

"This is a world series championship team.  I have no regrets being on the field supporting them along with the Chief of Police and other politicians.  I have no problems using resources because any other district would have done the same."

Both recall petition organizers have until the end of the year to gather more than 1,300 signatures.

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