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One Incumbent Easily Wins, One Barely Keeps Seat on Redondo School Board

Redondo Beach voters have decided to keep two incumbents on the local school board, which is facing renewed proposals for unification and efforts to improve what is generally viewed as a superior school system.

Rebecca Sargent easily won reelection to a third term on the Redondo Beach City School District Board of Trustees with 3,662 votes, or 38.1%.

However, board President Howard Huizing scratched out a thin eight-vote win over Andrew Deliman in the contest for the second of two seats. Both men are retired educators, who served in the city’s elementary school district for many years as principals. Huizing received 2,975 votes, or 31% of the total cast, compared to 2,967 for Deliman, or 30.9%.

In the low-key campaign, all three candidates spoke glowingly of how well almost everything is going in the district and found few issues on which they could disagree.

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All three said they liked the idea of Redondo Beach forming its own school system for the city’s elementary and high school students. Deliman focused on that solution, however, while the two incumbents said they would keep open minds until other possibilities have been explored.

Redondo Beach officials will be host of a joint meeting Tuesday to discuss those possibilities with the boards of elementary districts in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach and with the trustees of the South Bay Union High School District, which serves the secondary students in the three beach cities.

The 3,300-student high school district, where sharp drops in enrollment have produced budget crunches in recent years, has suggested a consolidation of schools in all three cities into one large system.

Another outcome may be separate unified districts in Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, with the smaller, one-school Hermosa Beach system joining one of them.

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Despite its financial problems, South Bay Union officials reject characterizations of the district as “troubled.”

In a letter to The Times this week, board President Noel Palm acknowledged that the district faces budget deficits in the next two years, but said it can weather the period by using money from the sale of Aviation High School.

He said enrollment should stabilize by the 1991-92 school year. Meanwhile, he said, the district’s two high schools have been recognized again by the California Department of Education as “among the best in the state.”


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