ELECTIONS : 46 Enter Races for College District and School Board Seats


A college district election that focuses on questions of ethics and eight school district races centered on school funding problems drew nearly four dozen candidates Friday as the official filing deadline for the Nov. 5 election passed.

After a slow start, school board races in the Ventura County Community College District, Ventura Unified School District and seven other races were heating up, attracting a flurry of last-minute candidates.

By Friday, 46 residents had filed statements of candidacy with county election officials. A total of 19 school board seats--including two trustee positions in the community college district--are available.

In addition to Ventura Unified and the college district, elections will be held for the county Board of Education, the Conejo Valley Unified School District, Fillmore Unified, Moorpark Unified, Oak Park Unified, and the Ocean View and Rio elementary districts, both in Oxnard.


In all but the Conejo Valley, Fillmore and Ocean View races, the filing deadline has been extended until Tuesday because incumbents are not running.

In the community college district, where veteran Trustee James T. (Tom) Ely’s position will be vacant, four candidates are vying for the seat representing Simi Valley, Moorpark and Fillmore.

Five candidates--including incumbent Timothy Hirschberg and Vernon C. Markley, the court bailiff in the Ely trial--are running for the position representing Ojai, Camarillo and Santa Paula now held by Hirschberg.

Several of the contenders for both college positions said they decided to run because they are upset with the way the Board of Trustees and district administrators handled matters concerning Ely and his wife Ingrid, who were convicted of fraud and embezzlement in June.


During the trial, board members and district officials said they questioned Tom Ely about his expenditures of district funds on travel but were powerless to stop him. Ely was convicted of bilking the district of $15,000 in public funds by padding expense, over-estimating mileage and double-billing trips.

Two of the candidates vying for Ely’s seat, Marilyn E. Maurer and Theodore Fautz, said during interviews that they want to toughen the district’s spending policies. Candidates Allan W. Jacobs and Terry Timmons could not be reached for comment.

The questions over district policies raised in the Ely case have carried into the trustee race for the college board seat now held by Hirschberg.

“The board has been asleep at the switch,” Markley said. “I’m appalled at the lackluster performance. When something is wrong in the system, you have a duty to do something about it.”


But Hirschberg defended the board’s actions in dealing with Ely. Since the allegations against Ely and his wife surfaced over a year ago, Hirschberg said the trustees have sharply cut board travel, eliminated other perks established during Ely’s tenure and conducted a district audit.

A code of ethics has also been adopted and several college and district administrators have either been demoted or fired, Hirschberg said.

“This is the board that woke up and caught Ely red-handed,” Hirschberg said.

Candidate Tom Jolicoeur, a district trustee from 1975 to 1979, criticized trustees for being too harsh on Ely. Recently, Hirschberg suggested that the board adopt a resolution asking the judge to sentence the Elys to the maximum sentence: six years in prison for Tom Ely, and three years for Ingrid Ely.


Hirschberg dropped the idea after other board members disagreed.

“I feel they’ve gone overboard in condemning Tom,” Jolicoeur said. “Tom did wrong, there is no question about that. But I feel sympathy for him. We’re human, we make mistakes.”

Candidate Al Pacheco, a program manager for an aerospace company, also criticized the board’s handling of the Ely affair. “I don’t think the public was well served by that whole fiasco,” he said.

Candidate Michael Musca could not be reached for comment.


For the elementary and unified schools, candidates said the main campaign issues are coping with tight school budgets in the upcoming school year, and planning for continued budget shortfalls in the 1992-93 school year when further funding reductions to public schools from the state are projected.

On the Ventura Unified board, another major issue is the proposed redrawing of school boundaries in the 15,000-student district, which the new board is scheduled to decide by December. Veteran board members Vincent Ruiz and Barbara Myers are not seeking reelection.

During hearings on the proposed boundary changes last school year, several parents who were highly critical of the plan threatened to recall the board if the changes were approved. School officials postponed a vote.

During the controversy, some board members said they hoped that the controversy over the boundaries, the budget and other issues would increase interest among parents and other Ventura residents to seek a seat on the board.


In the Fillmore Unified School District, new board members will help decide whether to continue the district’s year-round schedule, which was started last year amid controversy and will be evaluated next spring. Three candidates, including two incumbents, are competing for two vacancies on the board.

In Oxnard’s Ocean View Elementary School District, where incumbents usually run unopposed, the district has not held an official election since 1975. This year is no exception. With two seats open, incumbents Elizabeth Orick and Dennis Schlotfelt, 40, were the only candidates who filed for the positions.

School Board Candidates



2 Seats Open

Dorothy Beaubien (incumbent), former teacher/college instructor

MaryAnn Kenyon, food services worker

Dolores Didio (incumbent)


Therese Hughes, parent/homemaker

Dirk DeKreek, electrical engineer


2 Seats Open


Thomas Spitler (incumbent), business owner

F.W. (Dick) Richardson (incumbent), rancher

Nancy Marshall, homemaker



3 Seats Open

Tom Baldwin (incumbent)

Lorraine Feuerstein, parent/teacher

David Lorenzen, financial planner


Clint Harper, college professor

Greg Barker, parent/teacher

Cynthia Hubbard (incumbent)



2 Seats Open

Thomas (Lindy) Heidt, business manager

James Kalember, technical services manager

Wayne Sterling, business owner


Jan Iceland, office manager/homemaker


2 Seats Open

Elizabeth Orick (incumbent), bank loan officer


Dennis Schlotfelt (incumbent), account executive


2 Seats Open

Ernest J. Almanza (incumbent), construction supervisor


Art Hernandez, realtor/business owner

Terry Rothrock, educator


2 Seats Open


Area 3--Wendy Larner, homemaker

Area 3--Robert Ponce, retired educator

Area 3--Howard Hoover, retired school superintendent

Area 5--John V. McGarry, retired educator


Area 5--William D. Hill, retired educator

Area 5--Fred Pierce, paralegal




2 Seats Open

Area 3--Timothy Hirschberg (incumbent), attorney

Area 3--Tom Jolicoeur, financial planner

Area 3--Vernon C. Markley, deputy sheriff


Area 3--Michael Musca, financial analyst

Area 3--Al Pacheco, businessman

Area 4--Theodore Fautz, businessman

Area 4--Allan W. Jacobs, educator/community leader


Area 4--Marilyn E. Maurer, retired teacher

Area 4--Terry Timmons, educator


2 Seats Open


Denise Beck, business owner

Roger E. Davis Jr., retired teacher

Diane Harriman, retired teacher

Julie Murillo, homeowner


Jan M. Neveu, insurance sales

Helen Spencer, tax preparer/retired teacher

Carroll Dean Williams, engineer and community activist

Charles Withers, retired educator