If they can get the required signatures, those seeking to recall three school board members will probably succeed, according to the head of the California State University San Bernardino department of political science.


Those hoping to remove Hardy Black, Robert Kirk and Lee Rogers from their seats on the Hesperia Unified School District school board must gather almost 7,000 signatures from registered voters within the district -- more than any of the three other than Kirk received in last November's election.


But if they clear that hurdle, voters will likely vote the three out at the subsequent special election, according to Brian P. Janiskee, Ph.D.


"The bar is set pretty high for a recall attempt to get on the ballot. Petitioners must get signatures numbering at least 10 to 30 percent of registered voters, depending upon the size of the jurisdiction," he said.


The school board recall petitioners must gather signatures from 20 percent of the district's voters.


"If a recall attempt can qualify for the ballot, it will probably succeed. However, the hard part is to get there first. Recall attempts, like the one in which Gray Davis was taken out of office, succeed because the petitioners were able to point to a few key issues that resonated with voters: electricity blackouts, increased car tax, high budget deficit. If the case made by recall proponents is too abstract and has little symbolic power, then a petition effort may lose steam."


Recall proponents have set up a Web site -- HesperiaEducationFirst.com -- in which they list four reasons to recall Black, Kirk and Rogers, including the handling of the construction of Oak Hills High School, the termination of sixth grade-only schools and a survey sent to parents and employees about a possible change to the school year calendar.


The most prominent recall effort in recent years, which successfully removed Governor Gray Davis from office, has not inspired additional recalls since then, according to Janiskee.


"There does not appear to be a statewide trend of recall measures being more common for local officials as a result of the Gray Davis recall in 2003," he said. "City officials are the favorite target of recall measures, with school district officials coming in second. There are fewer county recall measures. However, much of this is probably explained by the fact that there are far more cities and school districts than counties."


Barstow City Councilman Paul Luellig was recalled last year, with just over 52 percent of voters -- who had also turned out to vote against creating a casino zone with the city. Recall proponents had accused him of changing positions on a casino after being elected.


Hesperia recall proponents expect to receive final approval of their petition from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters next week and begin gathering signatures soon after.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.