Advertisement

Jones Claims Vindication in School District Victory

Times Staff Writer

Curtis Jones said Wednesday that voters in the Westminster School District have vindicated his appointment last fall to the school board.

His election by a 62-vote margin Tuesday to fill an 18-month term also showed that the voters rejected “an attempt to control the school board” by the Westminster Teachers Assn., the teachers union, Jones said.

Jones opposed union-endorsed candidate Nancy L. Blumenthal and two other candidates, Eleanor Gerardi Parsons and Joseph R. Donahue, in Tuesday’s special election for the Westminster school board vacancy.

With all 35 precincts reporting, the county registrar of voters reported these final results:

Advertisement

Jones 1,367

Blumenthal 1,305

Parsons 500

Donahue 125

Advertisement

At issue in the special election was Jones’ appointment by the Westminster school board to complete the two-year term of member Skip Morgan, who is moving to Northern California. Jones was appointed on Nov. 6, the day after he had narrowly lost reelection to the board.

In a field of nine candidates, and with three seats to be filled on the school board, Jones on Nov. 5 came in fourth. He had first been elected to the board in 1981. Randy Fruechting, a school board member, said that before the Nov. 5 election the board had announced it would appoint to the vacancy whoever came in fourth.

‘Slap in the Face’

The teachers’ union said the board had made no such announcement. Blumenthal called the Jones appointment “a slap in the face to the voters” by “the lame-duck school board.” The union successfully petitioned to have Jones’ appointment voided and the special election called.

Advertisement

Jones and Fruechting said the intent of the union was to seize voting control of the five-member school board. They noted that two union-endorsed candidates had been elected last November. The seat filled by Jones, they said, was thus the swing vote.

“The issue in this election was whether this was going to be a public school board or a board for the private union,” Jones said Wednesday.

But union official Bill Bianchi said, “That’s poppycock.” Bianchi, executive director of the Westminster Teachers Assn., said, “We disagreed with how the appointment was made, and we wanted Mr. Jones to face the voters.”

Jones, 37, is a cost reduction and value analysis manager for Parker-Hannifin Corp. in Irvine. He holds a master’s degree in public administration.

Advertisement

Jones’ new term on the school board extends until November, 1987.


Advertisement