More open dialogue with the community and the school district’s
expected deficit were the two main topics in a televised forum of
school board candidates hosted by the League of Women Voters of
Candidates vying for three school board seats are Larry Applebaum,
Roland Armstorff, William Birtell, Ted Bunch, Lisa Clement, Lynn
Gerred, Elena Hubbell, Steve Hulett, Dave Kemp, Paul Krekorian, Ira
Lippman, Mike McDonald, Saba Mokhtari, Richard Raad and Silva
Terteryan-Reyes. Birtell did not appear at the forum, and Clement
made a brief appearance, but left due to illness.
With less money expected from the state, Bunch said further budget
cuts are his top priority. He said district employees at the top of
the salary schedule should be encouraged to retire.
“Keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible,” Lippman
Hulett favors making cuts in the district’s administrative office.
Krekorian said if elected, he will require every bureaucratic
department in the district to justify its expenses before cutting
money from classrooms.
However, he added, “we can’t get where we need to go by cuts
alone. We have to find new revenue sources.”
Looking for new ways to generate additional money for the district
was foremost on Armstorff’s mind.
“We have to change the way we fund schools,” he said. “We can’t
rely on the state.”
Applebaum favors partnerships with local businesses to support the
resurgence of art programs in the elementary schools.
Incumbents Hubbell, McDonald and Raad defended accusations that
the board has been uncommunicative to teachers, parents and the
“It’s a two-way street,” McDonald said. “We’ll communicate with
you, but you’ve got to communicate with us, too.”
Mokhtari said she and other parents want to be heard.
“The board hears parents, but nothing is done. It’s always passed
to the school site,” she said.
Kemp said he would seek to improve communication between the board
and the public, and that the board needs to have better exchanges
with the City Council.
Gerred and Terteryan-Reyes favor more peace-building programs so
children will feel safer in school.
The primary election for school board members is Feb. 25.