La Cañada school board candidates gear up for forum

All four La Cañada Unified School Board candidates have confirmed that they will participate in an election forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the La Cañada High School auditorium.

The 90-minute forum is being co-sponsored by the La Cañada PTA Council and the League of Women Voters, and will include time for candidate statements as well as questions from the audience. A similar event hosted during the 2009 election season drew about 75 people.

“The candidates have an opportunity to listen to the concerns of their possible constituents, and then of course it gives the voters the chance to compare and contrast the candidates on the issues,” said Bonnie Skolnik, director of voter services with the League of Women Voters.

This year, four candidates, including incumbent Jeanne Broberg and challengers Ernest Koeppen, Andrew Blumenfeld and Ellen Multari, are vying for two seats in the Nov. 8 election. Sitting member Cindy Wilcox chose not to seek reelection, guaranteeing at least one new face on the board.

Blumenfeld and Multari are the newest faces on the scene. Blumenfeld, a 2009 La Cañada High School graduate, currently is studying at Princeton University and has earned endorsements from several prominent local educators including Wilcox and former La Cañada High School PTSA president Kathy Hernandez.

Multari is a relative newcomer to the area, having moved to La Cañada in 2007. But she quickly got involved with the schools, taking on responsibilities with the PTA and the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, among other groups and committees.

A candidate in 2009, Koeppen is slightly more familiar on the local education scene. A consultant and the owner of a small technology company, he has earned endorsements from Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and Mayor Dave Spence.

The most experienced candidate in the race is Broberg, who sent eight children through La Cañada schools. She served on the board from 1993 to 2001, took several years off while living abroad, and then was reelected in 2007.

Lisa Dick, a member of the PTA Council, said she expects the forum will give voters the opportunity not only to get to know the candidates, but also to learn how the school board functions within the district.

“It is extremely informative,” Dick said the candidate forums. “You get to see first-hand what the candidates’ views are on topics and [what] distinguishes them from other candidates.”


What: Candidates Forum for LCUSD Governing Board Election

When: 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.

Where: La Canada High School Auditorium, 4463 Oak Grove Drive

Parking: Free on-campus parking available.

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