GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — A recall petition aimed at the D51 board president Andrea Haitz has been approved by the county and is headed to a circulation period.

The circulation period begins today and will end on Friday, July 7, 2023. Petition circulators will need to collect and submit 15,000 valid signatures to the Mesa County Election Division’s office by 5 p.m. for a recall election to be held. Depending on the timing, the election would be held as a special election or attached to the November general election.

Earlier this year, a recall petition was announced and submitted targeting D51 board president Andrea Haitz with a general statement of grounds for recall.

Mesa County Valley School 51 District C Board of Education member Andrea Haitz should be recalled for acting to exclude the community from open board meetings, for violating ethical standards required by Colorado statutes, and for directing board matters in a manner which foments disorder.

General statement of grounds for recall

Haitz then responded to the recall attempt in an official statement.

Our community faces several pressing issues, including underpaid teachers, underfunded classrooms, school safety and security, and a decreasing student population. This recall effort is unwarranted, politically motivated, and excessively costly for the school district and taxpayers, amounting to $200,000. As the President of the School board since 2021, I have taken a strong and decisive approach to my role on the School board since 2021, I have taken a strong and decisive approach to my role on the School Board, drawing on substantial input from the community, principles, teachers, and staff, as well as data, majority board consensus, and complete transparency to make informed decisions, they have been made carefully. The current Board has allowed many hours of unhindered public comment from our community at our Board meetings. While registered voters have the constitutional right to recall elected officials, this right should be exercised responsibly. This recall is an unwelcome distraction from the crucial work of educating our children.

D51 Board President Andrea Haitz

According to Mesa County Clerk Bobby Gross, the $200,000 Haitz is referring to is the estimated cost to conduct a special election should the recall election not coordinate with the November election.

The 5-page approved template is attached below. Each petition has room for a total of 20 signatures. A minimum of 750 petition packets will need to be filled out to achieve the 15,000 valid signatures needed for a recall election.

The Mesa County Election Division will use the program used to verify the voter information on the petition to keep track of the count. The submitted petitions will be available for public inspection at the Mesa County Election Division.