The community group calling themselves “Parents For Positive Change” was required to collect north of 6,000 voter signatures on its petition by a deadline of Feb. 19 and submit that to the registrar’s office. That did not happen as no petition was filed, according to county staff.
“The recall process is officially over,” Election Division Coordinator Shui Ling Chu said.
Benevento had been under fire by P4PC members for his alleged status quo partnership with district leadership, particularly MHUSD Superintendent Steve Betando; alleged brash treatment of fellow trustees, notably Trustee David Gerard and his board allies; and perceived unwillingness to listen to residents’ views on local education issues before the board.
Benevento, a member of the school board since 2011, denied all accusations made by the group and even broke down his exact reasons for voting the way he did on high-profile decisions such as the district-supported initiative of moving sixth grade classrooms outside the elementary schools and into the middle schools. That motion passed 4-3 in August 2015, and was said to be the driving force in forming P4PC.
The board president, whose seat is one of three set to expire in November, said he had “no comment” on the now failed recall movement against him.
P4PC’s recall effort hit a major stumbling block when one of its early leaders, Robert Guynn, stepped down after being accused of electronic harassment of one former Trustee Amy Porter-Jensen, who eventually resigned under duress, as well as engaging in inappropriate email conversations with Trustee David Gerard. The scandal was uncovered after MHUSD staff released numerous scandalous emails to the public in November thanks to a California Public Records request initiated by the Times.
Attorney Armando Benavides submitted the P4PC petition paperwork that was approved by the county before it began circulating. The group had a 120-day window to acquire more than 6,000 voter signatures but failed to do so.
While the P4PC’s Facebook page remains active in critiquing other local education issues, the “Bye Bye Bob-Recall Benevento” page, has not made a posting since Oct. 28, 2015.