Piece of Mind: It's time to take action. Vote.

Let’s get to the point more quickly than usual in this corner today. It will give you more time to read over election materials and mark your ballot.

If you a registered voter living within the La Cañada Unified School District boundaries and haven’t already voted by mail in the Nov. 8 school board election, do not miss Tuesday’s vote.

Whether or not you have children attending schools in the district, you have a pony in this race. A well-governed district benefits all of us in ways beyond the most obvious, our high property values. Good teachers, plus strong administration, plus savvy board members who oversee the first two elements while also making sure alternative revenue streams are identified, captured and spent wisely, equals students who are well prepared to meet whatever life throws their way.

It is heartening to see that this time around, there is so much interest in the school board election; but at the same time, one has to wonder what’s different this time around.

Are the schools worse off than they were two years ago, when six candidates were vying for three seats? It wouldn’t seem so, if we’re looking strictly at test results, would it? We’re still No. 2 in the state. But there are other factors to consider.

Are parents of LCHS students who appreciate the courses offered at the private Hillside Learning Center getting itchy, as it appears the district might be trying to edge out this competition for summer school dollars? Oh, I do think that’s a sore subject for many, and one worth paying attention to.

Could it be we’re wary (or should I say “weary”) of being asked for more money out of our own pockets to keep the schools afloat? Maybe some of us hope we can seat board members who will help us mind our pennies. I know that resonates at our house, but at the same time, I understand the current board has been trying to be sensitive to the fact not all of us have cash to ante up for the cause.

Perhaps voters are suspicious that things might not be running as smoothly as they should in the district and are looking for candidates who will improve the level of transparency. This can be ensured when better communication tools are in place, when more interaction between stakeholders and the leadership is encouraged. (By the way, when you’re overseeing an organization that does much of its communication in acronyms, you need to make sure that everything is translated into plain English. Enough with the ADA, CAHSEE, API, CST, STAR stuff. Give us the easy explanations and kill the acronyms. Just sayin’.)

More than two dozen readers submitted election-related letters to the editor this week, some touching on the points above and others simply vouching for the energy, intelligence, dedication and general good character of candidates they’ve come to know. We received more letters than we could possibly print, even though we gave it our best shot. The ones that didn’t make it to print will be posted on our website, at www.lacanadaonline.com.

Read it all over, talk to trusted friends, decide which candidates you think will serve us best and take action. Vote.

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the La Cañada Valley Sun. She can be reached at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.
 
 

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