Recall petition for Yuba College board president falls short
A recall effort aimed at the president of the Yuba Community College District board of trustees failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, Sutter County's clerk-recorder said Thursday.
Donna Johnston said recall supporters, who linked their effort to Trustee Jim Buchan backing a salary increase for the chancellor, needed 7,051 valid signatures and turned in only 5,052.
A total of 7,533 signatures were submitted June 8. Johnston's office found 2,481 invalid because the signers were not registered voters in the Sutter County district that Buchan represents, duplicate signatures and other reasons, Johnston said.
Yuba City resident Buchan, 77, said he was very happy with the outcome.
"Good guys don't always finish last," Buchan said.
"I would hope that this would bring us together," he said. "We need to work together to solve our problems." Asked if he thought the recall failing will end the controversy at the college district, Buchan said, "I hope so."
Teresa Dorantes-Basile, president of the California School Employees Association at the college, linked the recall try she helped undertake to Buchan's support for a since-rescinded $29,282 pay raise for Chancellor Nicki Harrington.
"I don't feel defeated at all," Dorantes-Basile said Thursday. "This is the right thing to do."
She said recall supporters decided to turn in signatures by June 8 to qualify the measure for the November ballot and avoid a costly special election.
"That's probably the only thing I'm kicking myself for," Dorantes-Basile said. "You shouldn't put a price on democracy."
Trustee Brent Hastey said he was not surprised the recall failed because supporters had so small a cushion between the number of signatures turned in and how many valid ones were needed.
"I'm happy to have the consistency on the board," Hastey said of Buchan staying.
Hastey said statewide ballot measures are easier to qualify than recalls of local officeholders.
"It's hard to make sure you have exactly who you need signing them," he said.
Buchan represents Trustee Area 2 — all of Sutter County except Live Oak. He was first elected in 1998 and has won three re-elections since then. His term ends in 2012.
He is a retired Yuba College professor and U.S. Army Reserve colonel.
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