TEMECULA, Calif. (KABC) -- A recall effort aimed at removing the Temecula Valley Unified School District's board president has gathered enough signatures to move forward.
It's unclear when voters will be able to decide whether to remove Joseph Komrosky from office, but supporters of his recall said it will likely happen later this year.
"You're seeing more and more political types showing up on these schools boards," said Jeff Pack, co-founder of the One Temecula Valley PAC, who supports the recall of Komrosky. "And now you're seeing people push back on that.
"They're saying we don't want politicians on school boards; we want people who are going to the best for schools and children, and students and staff and teachers that we love."
Since his election to the school board in late 2022, Komrosky and his allies have spearheaded several measures that are supported by conservatives. One such resolution banned the teaching of critical race theory in the school district; another required school officials to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender.
But Pack said despite these measures, many of the people who signed the recall petition were conservative.
"They may think there should be more conservative values at the school board level, but they said they didn't sign up to destroy the public school system and attack teachers and attack kids for exercising their rights.
"They just want (board members) to do what's right for Temecula. And at the school board level, to make sure kids have the best education possible. If you're not doing that, and you're just creating bogeymen to scare people and try to feel like you're accomplishing something, that's just not going to work for very long."
But Komrosky has a lot of support in his district, including people who speak regularly at school board meetings.
"These liberals will do anything they can to remove you from your position," said a speaker named Riley, who didn't give out his last name, during the public comment session of a recent board meeting. "They can't do honest work and they resort to lies and bribery to get their work done."
The speaker was referring to allegations that signature gatherers were lying to potential signers about facts related to the recall, something he claims was caught on an audio recording. He also claims signature gatherers were giving out candy to entice people to sign the petition.
"It's not surprising," said Pack. "Just call everybody liars. How hard is it for somebody to create a skit and record something? I don't know that it's true.
"Or somebody may have been passing out a Kit Kat bar during Halloween," said Pack. "Is that supposed to negate 5,200 signatures? It's absurd."
Komrosky released a written statement responding to the news that recall supporters had gathered enough signatures to put the matter before voters, and also posted a video message on his website.
"I have fulfilled my campaign promises to my constituents and have done exactly what I was elected to do. I've represented the voices in my community by fighting for traditional family values, such as parental rights."
"As TVUSD board president, I will continue to fight for you and your children's educational rights. Moreover, I will rigorously seek out and stand against any evil such as pervasive obscenity, vulgarity, pornography, and erotica here at TVUSD. I will continue to resist these harmful things with every ounce of my being.
"That said, I would urge voters to vote NO on this asinine recall, especially since many of the signatures gathered were based upon lies. Those have already been and will continue to be exposed."
It's unclear when the matter will go before voters.
Pack said the school board will have to decide whether to hold a special election. Depending on their guidance, it would then be up to the Riverside County registrar of voters whether to have a special election or put the matter before voters in a primary or general election.