Southeast Voters to Settle 19 School, 3 Municipal Races

Times Staff Writer

With only five days remaining before Tuesday’s election, candidates for 19 school boards and three city councils were expected to blitz Southeast-area voters with last-minute mailers in what has been, almost without exception, a quiet campaign.

Despite the calm that has surrounded most of the campaigning, the elections could bring major changes to a number of cities and boards.

Compton voters, for instance, will decide whether their city should have a full-time mayor. They will also be asked if that full-time mayor should be the incumbent part-time mayor, Walter R. Tucker. If approved, the full-time mayor would be given an assortment of new powers--including the ability to veto City Council decisions.

In both Lynwood and Montebello, a majority of the city council seats are on the ballot.


In Lynwood, there are 12 candidates vying for three seats, including incumbent councilmen James Rowe, Louis Thompson and E. L. Morris.

Evelyn Wells, one of the Lynwood council candidates, echoed a refrain heard from a number of challengers: “The incumbents have ignored the challengers. That’s part of their tactics, I suppose.”

Wells, a financial accounting supervisor for the Lynwood school district, has been endorsed by Councilman Robert Henning, while Morris and Thompson have formed a slate with challenger Louis Heine, a retired educator.

Henning and Rowe have been council allies, usually voting together on issues in which the council has split. Wells, an unsuccessful council candidate in 1983, has been a supporter of Henning since his election in 1983.


Heine, running for office for the first time, said Morris and Thompson had encouraged him to run with them.

Other challengers include carpenter Charles Dickens, businessman Lee Sampson, assistant bank manager Alfreddie Johnson Jr., real estate broker Iris Pygatt, dentist Carlos Manlapaz, businessman Benito Miranda, and environmentalist David James Willis Jr.

In Montebello, three council seats are being contested by six candidates, including incumbent councilmen Phillip Ramos and William Nighswonger. Incumbent Councilwoman Catherine Hensel, who was elected in 1976, is not seeking reelection.

Other Montebello candidates are Arnold Glasman, an attorney; Kathy Salazar, a businesswoman-registered nurse; Albert Phillips, who lists himself as a “senior-social-recorder,” and businessman Edward Pizzorno.


Bad-Investment Losses

In their campaign statements, Glasman, Salazar and Phillips have not zeroed in on any specific issues, but Pizzorno has raised the issue of the city’s loss of $4.4 million through bad investments in the bond market in 1984.

The City Council blamed Treasurer Thomas C. Wong for the losses and asked him to resign. Wong refused, but did stepped down from his investment duties. Nighswonger could not be reached for comment, but Ramos said the council took action “when it became aware” of its loss. He accused Pizzorno of dragging up an issue that has long since been settled.

The third city council race is in Bell Gardens, where six candidates are running for two council seats. The candidates are Roger McComas, the incumbent mayor; Wil Gutierrez, an insurance agent; Lee Pegg, a landlord; Noreen Bell, a business proprietor; Ronald Jess Bird, a funeral director; and Jerry Champagne, a sales manager


Incumbent Councilman Frank Dana, who was first appointed to the council to fill a vacancy in 1976, has decided not to run.

There are a total of 157 candidates vying for 19 school board races.

In the ABC Unified School District, there are three seats and 10 candidates, including incumbents Rodney H. Davis and Peggy Lee. Trustee William Watt is retiring after 13 years on the board.

Challengers are attorney Barbara Goul, attorney Catherine Grant, aerospace engineer Bertrand B. Dionne, businessman Gordon Herrema, auditor-management consultant George F. Medina, computer engineer Rodger E. Bakkers, buyer Rodney Toledo and route salesman Charles Abraham.


Well-Attended Forums

There have been several well-attended candidate forums in the district. Candidate Dionne, who has said the education level of the district students needs to be raised, has drawn some attention by refusing to restrict his prepared political campaign remarks to the seven minutes alloted during regular board meetings. On one occasion, the board adjourned to a closed session while Dionne continued to speak.

In Bellflower Unifed School District, three seats are being contested by 11 candidates, including incumbents Larry Ward, Justine Miller and Peggie Turner.

The incumbents have accused three challengers--general contractor Donald Rounds, bookstore owner Mike Lord and chapel administrator Harvey Conn--of being part of a fundamentalist religious slate seeking to take over the board. The challengers, who are all members of Hosanna Chapel, have denied they are running as a slate.


Rounds said “we might be philosophically aligned but that is more by accident than anything else.”

Other challengers are computer consultant Linda Brecht, maintenance mechanic Donald Clough, retired machinist Gene Bullock, retired teacher Donald Hansen and 18-year-old Cerritos College student Dave Manuel.

In Compton Unified School District, four incumbents are seeking to hold onto their elected seats in a race with 16 challengers.

Despite the number of candidates, the race has been relatively quiet with incumbents John Steward, Sam Littleton, Manuel (Manny) Correa and Kelvin D. Filer maintaining low profiles in recent weeks.


Candidate in Jail

However, if one-time trustee Saul E. Lankster should win, he might be legally blocked from assuming office. Shortly after Lankster filed for a spot on the ballot, he was convicted of three felony charges of selling false driving school diplomas from his University We-Stand-N-Line-For-U Traffic School. Lankster is currently serving a 120-day term in the county jail.

The other challengers are engineer Michael Kevin Baines, school teacher Rita Bright-LaVelle, community activist Al Cabrera, retired construction supervisor Willie Bobbitt, aircraft mechanic Audrey M. Brooks, business education coordinator Verda M. Cheathem, public administrator Charles Evans, attorney Dana LaMon, school administrator Hubert Parker, administrative secretary Marian Thompson, heavy equipment operator-engineer Edward S. Loney, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Margaret Moore, instructional aide Mae Thomas and computer operator Michael Williams and Gorgonio Sanchez Jr., who lists himself as a “concerned community person.”

In Downey Unified School District, there are three seats and four candidates. In Trustee Area 1 incumbent Robert Riley, who is seeking his second term, is facing the challenge of businessman Andrew A. Harrod. In Trustee Area 5, incumbent Walter Temple, who is seeking his second term, is unopposed. In Trustee Area 7, incumbent Grace E. Horney is running unopposed for her sixth term.


In East Whittier City School District, three seats are being contested by nine candidates, including incumbent Shirley W. Nielsen, running for the second term. Trustees Lillian Singely, who served two terms, and Philip Ellis, who served six years, are not seeking reelection.

Challengers are financial adviser Stephen R. Fry, commercial realtor Marilyn M. Mailloux, real estate broker Kenneth Nugent, educator James Stewart, attorney Russell Scott Woodward, business owner Paula Hodgin, educator Odell Scott and bank operations manager David P. Tyner.

In the El Rancho Unified School District, there are three seats and four candidates including incumbents Frank P. Boyce, E.A. (Pete) Ramirez and George D. Crook, all seeking third terms. The challenger is school administrator Henry Ronquillo.

In the Little Lake City School District, there are two seats up for election and three candidates, including incumbent Richard J. Moore. The challengers are homemaker May B. Sharp and community volunteer Dorothy Porter.


Quits After 18 Years

Board member Sylvia Swanson is not seeking reelection after 18 years.

In the Los Nietos School District, there are three seats and five candidates, including incumbents Richard D. Alvarez and David Waugh. Both are seeking second terms.

Challengers are secretary Angelica Georgina Johnson, homemaker Alice Gill and police officer Leonard G. Munoz.


Trustee Angier Andicochea is not seeking reelection after one term.

In Lowell Joint School District, there are three seats and four candidates, including incumbents Janet B. Averill, Herb Griffith and Joyce E. Canfield.

The challenger is personnel administrator I. A. (Augie) Ryanen.

In Lynwood Unifed School District, there are two seats and eight candidates, including incumbents Helen T. Andersen and Joe T. Battle, both seeking second terms.


The challengers are general services manager Leonard C. Coes, family-child psychotherapist Charles E. Glenn, minister David K. Corbin, engineering aide Carol Green, businesswoman Cynthia Y. Green-Geter and businessman Albert Penalber.

In the Montebello Unified School District, there are three seats and 10 candidates, including incumbents Eleanor K. Chow, who is seeking a fourth term; Darrell H. Heacock, who is seeking a third term, and Herbert M. Stearns, who is running for a sixth term.

Several Challengers

Challengers are warehouseman Herman Cruz, personnel manager Rebecca Adauto Crowe, community volunteer Carmen Nila, bus operator Thomas B. Ortega, community volunteer Bobbie Clark Odou, freight clerk John A. Sanchez and administrator David Valdez.


In Norwalk-La Mirada Unified, there are four seats and nine candidates, including incumbents Gary V. Jones and Jesse Mendoza Luera--both seeking third terms--and William A. (Bill) White and Ken Welch, both seeking second terms.

The challengers are skin-care consultant Patricia Davis, registered nurse Ruth I. Riley, businessman William J. Bodell, train engineer James D. Ellis and minister Charles Belknap.

In Paramount Unified School District, there are three seats and 10 candidates, including incumbents Shirley J. Elliott, who is seeking a third term and Joseph Montoya, who is running for a second term.

Trustee V.E. (Gene) French is not seeking reelection after serving three terms.


Challengers are retired computer engineer Harold Bigelow, sales secretary Charlene Bremner, educator Arthur J. Bredice, caterer James K. (Jim) Carroll, beauty school owner Ben Curry, management consultant Marianne Papp, retired educator Craig Olson and salesman Manuel Raigosa.

In South Whittier School District, there are three seats and four candidates, including incumbents Gerald Blackburn, who is seeking his second term, Keith W. Pust, who was appointed to the board earlier this year and is running for his first full term and Joe A. Duardo, who is running for his fourth term.

The challenger is sheriff’s Deputy David Gonzales Hayes.

Board’s Fourth Opening


Trustee John Hergesheimer resigned last spring, creating a fourth opening on the board. Two candidates, maintenance superintendent Octavio V. Chavez and Rio Hondo Community College student Joseph A. Moreno Jr., 19, are running to fill the last two years of Hergesheimer’s unexpired term.

In the Whittier City School District, there are three seats and four candidates, including incumbents Mila Corral, who is running for her second term; Mildred A. Early, running for the her third term, and Janet R. Henke, who is running for her fourth term.

The challenger is educator Theodore (Ted) Saulino.

In the Whittier Union High School, there are three seats and eight candidates, including incumbents Joan McNeilly Nay, who is seeking her third term, and Eve Burnett, who is running for her second term.


Challengers are nutritionist Marion (Ruth) Berg, textile representative Richard A. Cardenas, accountant John C. Rios, retired aircraft worker Lawrence Elrod, mortgage banker Joe E. Rico and mechanical engineer Anthony James Rotondi.

Trustee Henri R. Pellissier is retiring after three terms.

In the Cerritos Community College, there are three seats and 10 candidates, including incumbents Bob Epple, and Ada C. Steenhoek, both seeking second terms. Current board president Hazel Scotto is retiring after five terms.

Also running are college campus police officer Mark Durant, businessman George I. Griswold, businessman Paul C. Mangan, electronic equipment monitor Edward J. Monk, electrical contractor Edwin Reames, businessman Geoffrey G. Smith, machinist Chris W. Plank and college campus security dispatcher Helmut K. Schneider.


Last Two Years of Term

Five candidates have filed to fill the final two years of Richard Goul’s term. Goul resigned last summer. They are businesswoman Barbara J. Hayden, program planning manager Stewart Luce, college instructor Ralph Kephart, college educator Hayward H. Nishioka and engineer Bob Verderber.

In Compton Community College District, there are two seats and three candidates.

Because trustee Legrand H. Clegg II drew no oppostion for his Area 1 seat, voters only have to decide whether incumbent Area 2 Trustee Carl E. Robinson Sr. should be reelected to a second term or replaced by challenger James E. Carter, a systems technician.


Last March, Robinson was charged with soliciting a $500 political bribe from a West Covina accountant who did business with the college. Robinson, whose trial has been scheduled for Dec. 17, has denied the charge.

In Rio Hondo Community College District, there are two seats and five candidates.

In Trustee Area 1, because of redistricting, incumbent Jamie Monroy lost his seat and is not running. Candidates for the post are El Monte High School board member Ralph Gutierrez, personnel assistant Elizabeth Van Note and educational program director Hilda L. Solis.

In Trustee Area 3 incumbent Isabelle Brown Gonthier, who is seeking her second term, is being challenged by university professor Frank Hidalgo.