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SAN DIEGO COUNTY ELECTIONS : Grady-Dryer Victory Gives Faculty Fits

November 06, 1986|LEONARD BERNSTEIN | Times Staff Writer

Disappointment tempered by optimism permeated the campuses of the San Diego Community College District on Wednesday as faculty members who waged a bitter, costly campaign to unseat two trustees assessed their tantalizingly close loss in one race and a bad defeat in another.

Dr. Joe Abrahams, a La Jolla psychiatrist who ran an aggressive campaign, came within 2,592 votes of unseating 13-year incumbent Dan Grady, the prime target of faculty and union groups that spent $114,000 on the two community college primaries and general election races. Grady captured the District A race with just 50.7% of the nearly 196,000 votes cast.

Meanwhile, District C incumbent Louise Dyer, who said she spent just $3,100 on her campaign for a second term, easily outdistanced biochemist Maryann Zounes. Dyer, who had developed strong name recognition during two terms as a trustee for the San Diego Unified School District from 1965 to 1973, won 56.3% of the more than 190,000 votes cast.

Zounes acknowledged that she might have had more success by attacking Dyer's record--as Abrahams did with Grady's.

Incumbent Charles Reid, running unopposed, won the District E race with more than 156,000 votes.

"We stood up for the first time, we have unity for the first time and we are going to continue to put pressure on the board to effect educational changes," said Charles Corum, president of the Committee for Better Colleges, the faculty's political action committee. "We want the public to know that we are still extremely unhappy," he continued. "There are still a number of serious problems. If nothing is done, 1988 is just two years away."

The faculty, joined by disgruntled students and staff members, had attempted to turn the historically low-profile race into a referendum on the performance of the trustees and Chancellor Garland Peed.

They attacked the trustees for doubling their own salaries, voting themselves lifetime health benefits, destroying faculty morale, canceling 220 classes at City College and stashing money in a private foundation.

Dyer acknowledged Wednesday that she had been surprised by the strength of the ill will expressed by teachers. During the campaign, the faculty at all three colleges in the district approved overwhelming no-confidence votes in the trustees.

"That's going to be my first priority, to heal some of those wounds and improve communication," Dyer said. "We're going to work harder to get together and (have) a less adversarial relationship in the district."

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