By Nancy Gutierrez

At a December meeting of the Farmersville Unified School District two board members, Enrique Ramos and Conrado Gonzales, were handed recall papers. FUSD board president Martin Macareno said he believes he and member Blanca Sandoval will be next to get recall papers in March.

"Bitter people are heading-up the recall," Macareno said. "They weren't happy with the direction the board was taking and they started a recall."

He added that it is unfair and sad that the board hasn't had the chance to serve office.

"It's an insult to the voters of Farmersville. We haven't had the chance to prove ourselves," he said.

The Tulare County Office of Elections is reviewing the recall petitions for Ramos and Gonzales. Upon approval of the petition organizers of the recall have 60 days to gather 600 signatures. The amount of signatures is based on 25 percent of the school district's approximately 2,383 registered voters. The signatures must be validated by the elections office within 30 days of receiving the documents.

"It's all political and we are going to fight back," Macareno said.

The recall came on the heels of an explosive Jan. 13 meeting where hundreds of Farmersville residents voiced their opinions for more than two hours during public comment. Residents squared off regarding the board's upcoming decision to fire Superintendent Janet Jones.

That evening board members voted to put Jones on paid leave pending an investigation.

Macareno would not comment on the reasons for initiating the investigation or its details and said no date or time was set as to its duration.

"It could end tomorrow or in three weeks," Macareno said.

Board members discussed employee drug testing and the possibility of health insurance last night at a regular board meeting. Decisions on these matters had not been made as of press time.

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