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South Bay Digest

Redondo Beach : Trustees at Odds Over Effort to Fire School Chief

March 14, 1985

School Supt. Hugh Cameron's job performance remained a heated issue this week, with one board trustee releasing a letter of support for Cameron and a second claiming that his call for the superintendent's resignation has been greeted by more than 300 phone calls of support from residents of the South Bay Union High School District.

Trustee Armando Acosta, who led a surprise move to oust Cameron last week, said his phone "has been ringing off the hook" with callers agreeing that Cameron should resign.

But trustee Noel Palm, part of the 3-2 majority that voted last week to retain Cameron, charged that Acosta's motives are political. Palm said that five-year superintendent Cameron has proved a sound educational leader, having fought successfully for increased graduation requirements and no layoffs of district personnel.

"Hugh stuck by his guns . . . and the ease with which the district was able to adjust to the longer day/longer year mandated by the state is to his credit," wrote Palm.

In seeking Cameron's resignation, Acosta criticized his personnel and salary-setting recommendations, his performance on issues arising from the sale of major portions of Aviation High School to a developer and a proposal to sell a portion of the east end of the Redondo Union High School campus.

On the Redondo Union issue, Palm did concede that "one of my criticisms of the superintendent is his tendency to occasionally 'shoot from the lip.' He made this statement without prior consultation with this board member and I believe the reaction he received has laid the issue to rest."

According to Acosta, many residents have expressed chagrin at the thought that a portion of the Redondo campus might be sold. Acosta said that as well as calls of support, he has also received several crank calls and an anonymous typewritten letter that threatened him and his family because of his efforts to oust Cameron.

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