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Academic Calm Marks School Elections

April 02, 1987|STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writer

Minimal fund raising and little disagreement among candidates characterize the campaigns for the April 7 elections to the Glendale school and community-college boards.

"Things are so peaceful," said Robert K. Holmes, 39, a first-term incumbent and Glendale attorney seeking reelection to the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees.

Dr. William B. Schafer, 66, a La Canada Flintridge pediatrician, is the only challenger running against Holmes and Rae M. Berry, 69, a Glendale businesswoman and first-term incumbent.

In the Glendale Unified School District race, the pace is especially slow as two-term incumbent Sharon R. Beauchamp, 46, and three-term incumbent Blanch M. Greenwood, 70, are running unopposed.

Dwindling State Support

At a candidate forum this week sponsored by the Glendale League of Women voters, the college board candidates agreed that the two greatest challenges before trustees are adjusting to dwindling financial support from the state and maintaining local control of the college district.

"We're going to have a big problem in the community college system in the next five to 10 years--money," Holmes said. "But the crux of what we do best, managing money and managing academics, is on the way out the door."

Under a proposal by the Commission for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education, control of the state's 106 community colleges would be handed over to a statewide governing board that would allocate money to the colleges and determine academic offerings. All three candidates oppose the plan, which is similar to the governing system of the University of California and the state university system.

"Around here, we know more about what Glendale's needs and problems are," said Schafer, who, along with the incumbents, called for residents of Glendale to contact their state representatives and lobby against the idea.

Opposed to Sale of Campus

Berry and Schafer told the 35 constituents in attendance that they are generally opposed to selling the Montrose satellite campus, which serves 500 to 700 of the district's 12,000 students. Holmes refused to take a stand on the issue until further studies are completed.

The satellite campus became controversial recently after district officials discovered that the large classrooms and facilities at the former elementary school could jeopardize a $10-million construction plan to relieve crowding at the main campus.

Before a college can receive state construction funds it must prove its need for more space. When the large floor plan at Montrose is factored into a complicated formula, the district appears to have ample space--although the main campus is among the most crowded in the state, officials said.

District officials have ordered an appraisal of the Montrose property in preparation for a possible sale.

During the hourlong panel discussion, the candidates also discussed their stand on other issues facing the college.

Schafer said the lack of adequate parking at the college is an important issue. "It's drastically affecting students, faculty employees and neighbors, all of whom want it solved," he said.

One solution, he said, would be to ask city officials to pave over the now-closed Verdugo Swim Station situated across the street from the 119-acre campus. Another would be to transform some of the more than 50 unused acres of hilly campus property into gravel-covered parking lots for students.

"Get a bulldozer and scrape off the valley and hills--even if it's not level--put down some gravel and let the students park for free," he declared.

Schafer, a resident of La Canada who practiced pediatrics in Glendale and La Crescenta for 37 years, received a B.A. from UCLA and an M.D. from USC, where he is also an associate clinical professor of pediatrics. Schafer recently earned an A.S. in advertising design from Glendale Community College. He has been active in community organizations, such as Glendale College Arts Task Force, Kiwanis of La Canada and the Boy Scouts.

"I know the college well. I've lived in the community a long time and I want to serve this community," Schafer said.

Incumbent Barry said she will promote long-range curriculum planning if elected to a second board term.

"We must get the educational programs ahead of the budget. We do not have a priority list of education goals," she said.

Berry received a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University. Since 1973 she has owned and managed a career-planning consultation business in Glendale and La Crescenta. She has served on a community organizations, including the Glendale YWCA and the United Way Board of Directors, Region 1, and is now a board member of the Crescenta Valley Water District.

During the last four years, she has served both as president and vice president of the college board of trustees.

"There has been a lot happening during the last four years, and I'm proud of it," she said.

Board of Trustees President Robert K. Holmes said he should be reelected to "keep the forward momentum running."

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