Don’t sign the Benicia recall petition!

By Roger Straw, February 1, 2021  [Contact your School officials: below.]

Everyone wants to get Benicia kids and teachers SAFELY back in school, but the recall looks more like a political power play to me

A group is circulating a petition in Benicia to oust two of our School Board Trustees.

The petition strangely singles out two of our BUSD Trustees because they – along with every other board member – would not vote to return immediately to in-person learning of students in classrooms.

In January 2021, the board voted unanimously 5-0 to postpone the return to in-person instruction to the 4th quarter of this school year.  This was due to a complex variety of factors, including most importantly health expert advice, but also State and County regulations and State executive orders.  The whole Board approved.

But now we are being asked to sign a petition for a selective recall of two of those Trustees.  One wonders why.

A recall election would cost the Benicia School District approximately $300,000, enough reason alone NOT to sign their petition.  Not to mention that by the time the special recall election is held, our kids and teachers are likely to already be back in school.

And also consider this: the petition is being circulated and promoted by the daughter-in-law of BUSD School Board member Diane Ferrucci.  Ferrucci was past president of the Board, and was replaced as Board president in December by Sheri Zada, one of the two targeted in the recall effort.

As of yesterday and as far as I can determine, past president Ferrucci has not come out to say that the recall is misguided.  Nor has she called on her daughter-in-law to stop the effort, but has stood back and let the recall unfold.  Power play?  (Stay tuned – if I hear otherwise, I’ll correct it here.  See my Feb. 3 correction here.)

Along with Zada, the petitioners want to unseat Mark Maselli, which if successful would empower a new majority on the Board and give Ferrucci and the remaining Board members (who ALL voted with the 5-0 decision) solid control on a wide range of policy matters affecting our children and teachers.

Zada and Maselli (along with Board member Gethsemane Moss) were endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of Benicia for election to the Board in 2018.  The Benicia Independent stands behind all three, and strongly opposes the removal of Zada and Maselli.

No one with a brain and heart wants our kids and teachers to go back to school before it’s safe.  And anyone with an ear to the ground has to wonder about the seeming political manipulation of this recall effort.  If you are asked to sign the petition, please DON’T SIGN!

Contact your Benicia School Superintendent and Board Trustees:

Superintendent Charles Young

Phone: (707) 747-8300 x1211

Executive Secretary Georgina Martinez

Phone: (707) 747-8300 x1211

BUSD Trustees

Sheri Zada

President, Area 1 – Term Ends 2022
Phone: (707) 747-8300 x1211

Mark Maselli

Trustee, Area 4 – Term Ends 2022
Phone: (707) 747-8300 x1211

Cece Grubbs

Trustee, Area 2 – Term Ends 2024
Phone: (707) 747-8300 x1211

Diane Ferrucci

Trustee, Area 5 – Term ends 2022
Email: dferrucci@beniciaunified.orgPhone:  (707) 747-8300 ext 1211

Gethsemane Moss

Clerk, Area 3 – Term Ends 2024
Phone: (707) 747-8300 ext 1211