Recall against LAUSD School Board member faces deadline

Group says it’s ‘on track’ to deliver signatures needed to qualify for ballot

Supporters of an effort to recall Los Alamitos USD Board of Education member Scott Fayette outside the Seal Beach Tennis & Pickleball Center on July 11, 2022. Organizers had to later move their signs from near the sidewalk after they were told it violated city code. Photo by Jeannette Andruss

A deadline is approaching for organizers of an effort to recall Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education member Scott Fayette.

The effort was first launched in March. Now, the pro-recall group has until July 18 at 5:00p.m. to turn in valid signatures from 25% of the registered voters in Fayette’s district, Trustee Area 4, which covers the College Park East and Old Town neighborhoods in Seal Beach.

To qualify for a future ballot, they need to deliver at least 1,800 valid signatures to the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ Office which oversees local elections.

A recall organizer said this week that the campaign was “on track” to gather the needed signatures by the deadline, but did not say how many signatures had been collected so far.

A July 6 email message sent to some residents of Old Town stated the recall effort needed “a few hundred more” signatures.

The unsolicited email message from Dorothy Ferrell, a parent in the district, asked for recipients to contact her to sign the petition stating, “you can make a difference in restoring some of the conservative values back into our school district.”

Fayette has been in office less than two years. He was the only person who filed qualifying paperwork to run in the 2020 election and, per election laws, his name did not appear on the ballot.

The recall supporters are aiming to get the recall on the upcoming November 2022 ballot. That’s also when two other board members, Marlys Davidson and Diana Hill, are up for re-election.

Recall supporters state their goal is to recall Fayette and run candidates to defeat the incumbents. “After we win those three seats, we will have a conservative, curriculum based, school board majority,” the recall website reads.

A previous effort to recall Fayette and two other board members failed in December 2021.

On July 11, organizers were collecting signatures at a table under a tent in a grassy area in front of the Seal Beach Tennis & Pickleball Center. A reporter was there when a city of Seal Beach code enforcement officer arrived.

Samuel Funes told the recall campaigners that Seal Beach municipal code does not allow for political signs to be posted on city property and that they would need an event permit to keep their table set up.

In an email, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos wrote: “After obtaining information and receiving verification from a supervisor, the organizers were informed they would need to remove posted signs in accordance with the municipal code but could continue signature collection activities.”

The group did move its signs from the grass area lining the curb of Lampson Avenue to its tent. Organizers say they will be manning the table until the July 18 deadline.

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