Citing shrinking resources and the need to reassess the role of two-year colleges, 13 candidates are campaigning for five seats on the governing boards of the Mt. San Antonio, Rio Hondo and Pasadena community college districts.
Candidates for the Nov. 5 election include three incumbents, a Cal Poly Pomona student and two former community college board members.
Five additional seats, including two on the Citrus Community College District board, are uncontested and the incumbents will be installed without an election. Those unchallenged are Edward C. Ortell and Gary L. Woods on the Citrus Community College District board and Warren L. Weber, Richard H. Green and Walter T. Shatford on the Pasadena Area Community College District board.
The following cities and unincorporated areas will vote in one or more of the elections: Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bassett, Charter Oak, Citrus, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, East Whittier, El Monte, Foothill, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, Industry, Irwindale, La Habra Heights, La Manda, La Puente, La Verne, Los Nietos, Monrovia, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Ramona, Rio Hondo, Roland Heights, San Dimas, San Jose, South El Monte, Spadra, Temple City, Valinda, Walnut, West Covina and Whittier.
Mt. San Antonio Community College District
The candidates agreed that the administration of Mt. San Antonio College, located in Walnut, ranks among the best of two-year schools in the state. They commended the college for offering quality programs in the face of budget constraints. Several candidates said the school's physical plant needs upgrading and the phone system should be improved.
Six candidates, including one incumbent, are running for two seats. They are:
- Arnett L. Austin, 25 of Pomona. Austin attended Mt. San Antonio from 1982 to 1984 and is a junior majoring in political science at Cal Poly Pomona. This is his first attempt at public office.
"As a former student body president at Mt. SAC, I saw the workings and the needs of the school up close," Austin said. "I think there needs to be a closer link between the students, the faculty and the board so the board has a clearer understanding of what classes need to be monitored, what classes need to be pulled and what classes need to be added. I think the school should strengthen its math and science offerings. Also, too many faculty members are part-time teachers dividing up their energies between two and three colleges."
- Kenneth L. Hunt, 53, of Hacienda Heights. Hunt, an incumbent who has served on the board eight years and is currently the president, is the dean of instruction at East Los Angeles College. Hunt has four children, three of whom attended Mt. San Antonio.
"Mt. SAC had a balanced budget last year when other two-year schools had to dip into their reserves," Hunt said. "Since the passage of Proposition 13, we have lost a lot of our autonomy from a fiscal standpoint. The state Legislature and the governor now decide our budgets each session. I would like to see a return to a stable funding base, one not so dependent upon student attendance and upon the yearly opinions of the Legislature. With stable funding, colleges can get about the business of long-range educational planning."
- Hugh S. Jenings, 64, of Covina. Jenings, a retired investment banker, has 6 children and 12 grandchildren. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1970.
"Money, money, money--is there any other issue?" Jenings said. "I don't think you can tap into the public purse anymore. I think one way to get additional funding is to approach corporate heads and talk them into making $1,000 contributions each year. These would be part of an endowment fund in which the school would spend $500 and would save $500. The other half is reinvested so you have something mushrooming all the time.
- Gary V. Miller, 42, of West Covina. Miller, an educational supervisor of a night program at Charter Oak Day School in Covina, served on the West Covina City Council from 1974 to 1980. He is married and has two children.
"What it comes down to in a nutshell is the responsibility that the budget and the curriculum come together to meet the community needs," Miller said. " These needs are vocational, educational, personal and counseling. Some people need community colleges to meet personal goals of growth, hobbies and to develop their own understanding of areas of interest. I, too, would take a critical look to determine if vocational programs warrant expansion."
- Thomas J. Miller, 43, of Covina. Miller, a Covina attorney, lost by 100 votes in an attempt to gain a community college board seat four years ago. He is married and has three children.