Incumbent still has something to offer

Molly Shore

Mike McDonald is used to tackling big problems. First, as a

linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams, and, for the past eight years,

as a school board member.


“I think when you’re first elected, you almost feel like you don’t

know what you’re doing that first year. You have to get used to the

educational lingo. As you go to your California School Board Assn.

conferences, you become more attuned to your responsibilities,”


McDonald said.

When McDonald made the decision to run again, he said he did so

because he believes he still has something to offer the district, and

specifically, the children.

If elected to a third term, McDonald wants to see the completion

of the school renovation projects, as well as a continuation of this

work. Many of the schools’ interiors need refurbishing, he said.

“We also need to refurbish our fields and tracks, not just for the


students, but for the community,” McDonald said.

Forced to shave $3 million off this year’s budget, the board was

faced with some difficult decisions that did not please teachers or


Defending those decisions, McDonald said, “We’re elected to make

hard decisions. Sometimes they’re not agreeable to people.”

The actions the board took were based on information from the

district staff, McDonald said. It is the staff’s responsibility to


bring information to the board, McDonald said, adding that if the

information is not reliable, staff must be held accountable.

“We set policy based on that information,” McDonald said. “I don’t

know how anyone can be a board member without relying on staff. We’re

not elected to do the day-to-day running [of the district].”