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ELECTIONS ’88 ORANGE COUNTY : Money Issues Dominating Race in Savanna District

Times Staff Writer

Pay-raise practices and money problems in general are issues raised by candidates running for the school board in the tiny Savanna School District.

The elementary district has about 1,825 students in kindergarten through the sixth grade.

Savanna serves parts of Anaheim, Buena Park, Stanton and Cypress.

Incumbent president Arthur C. Brown is not seeking reelection, and Gary Krieger is the only member on the five-person school board seeking reelection in the Nov. 8 election. Two seats on the board are to be filled.

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One of the challengers, Frances G. Ruble, who lists herself on the ballot as a homemaker, strongly criticizes how the district gives pay raises, saying there is a “double standard.”

Ruble, 58, of Buena Park, said: “All employees have to negotiate for their pay and working conditions, while the superintendent is exempt from this process. The superintendent not only negotiates his own contract but has fringe benefits that are over and beyond that given to other employees.”

Chris Brown, 40, of Buena Park, who lists herself as a housewife, said she sees stable funding as the school district’s biggest need.

“We need to pass legislation that will designate specific funding, such as a portion of the sales tax” for education, she said, adding that she would “work with local school districts and legislators” to try to get more stable state funding of schools.

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Gary Roger Fite, 51, of Anaheim, a teacher at Dale Junior High in the Anaheim Union High School District, said: “The biggest problem for any school district is funding. . . . A precise budget control that allocates the necessary funds for salaries to meet the necessities of life must be of the utmost consideration.”

Fite said he believes some available state money is not being used by the district. He also questioned some spending practices, including “job bids that upon acceptance are increased after the job starts” and cafeteria expenses that “seem to be distorted.”

Krieger, 54, a program analyst who lives in Anaheim, has been on the Savanna school board for 14 years. “The biggest problem in our district is the same as in all districts: It’s money,” he said.

Because of limited money from the state, he and other school board members “work to see that all income is spent properly, that youngsters get a decent education, including getting to spend some time using computers, because we now have computer labs in all our schools,” he said.


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