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Rouzan May Not Serve His Entire 4-Year Board Term

Times Staff Writer

Inglewood school board member Joseph Rouzan knows he will win reelection on April 4.

But Rouzan, who is running unopposed, said recently that he does not know whether he will serve his full four-year term.

The former Inglewood police chief and assistant city manager made it clear that he is interested in becoming city manager of Inglewood if City Manager Paul Eckles, a 15-year veteran, steps down.

Rouzan expressed frustration with continuing divisiveness on the school board and the board’s failure to establish clear objectives.

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He said that he may resign if he does not see progress in a year.

“I’m not going to tell you that I’m totally satisfied with what we’re accomplishing so far,” Rouzan said. “We’re not a strong team yet. There’s too much bickering and political posturing. If this were to continue for another year or so and I felt I could not contribute, I would not stay.”

Rouzan was elected in October to fill the remainder of a four-year vacancy on the board. The 55-year-old criminal justice consultant has long been regarded as an aspirant for Inglewood city manager’s job, and possibly for Inglewood mayor. Some have said he sought the school board seat last year to increase his visibility and position himself for one of the two jobs.

When he was appointed to the board in 1987--an appointment annulled as a result of a petition drive that forced an election--Rouzan dismissed speculation that he saw the school board as a springboard to other political or administrative offices.

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This week, Rouzan said he is not interested in running for mayor in 1990, when Mayor Edward Vincent’s second four-year term is up.

He Likes Management

And Rouzan said he has great respect for City Manager Eckles, who recently signed a three-year contract extension and has given no indication of plans to move on.

“I’ve worked under Paul’s tutorship and I’ve learned a lot from him,” said Rouzan, a resident of unincorporated Ladera Heights. “I would never attempt to challenge him or seek his position while he’s there. But if there were an opportunity for candidates to apply, I would apply. It would be a fantastic opportunity to do good things.”

In fact, Rouzan said, he would apply for the city manager’s job in Inglewood or another city regardless of whether he resigns from the school board.

“I like management,” Rouzan said. “Private business hasn’t been bad.”

Rouzan left his dual post as Inglewood police chief and assistant city manager in 1986 after five years.

That same year, his private security consulting firm received a major contract to overhaul the security force at Los Angeles International Airport. His long career in public service also includes tenures as city manager and police chief of Compton. He has also been a captain in the Los Angeles Police Department.

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