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Recall Replacements Take Office in Laguna

September 29, 1987|MARIANN HANSEN | Times Staff Writer

Three new Laguna Beach Unified School District trustees were sworn into office Monday night, officially replacing their predecessors, who were recalled from their posts in last week's special election.

Thomas R. (Tim) Davis,, Kathleen Jones and Harvey Triebwasser repeated the oath of office as administered to them by school district Supt. Dennis Smith before a small crowd of mostly family members.

First Official Act

During the special organizational meeting, the new board's first official act was to name current trustee Harry Bithell board president and trustee Susan Mas, clerk.

It marks the third time Bithell has served as president in his 12 years on the board, "even though it's going to be for a very short time," he said. Bithell will retire from the board when his term expires in November.

During the 20-minute meeting, the board also named its new members to serve on various committees. The new board will hold its first regular meeting Oct. 13.

The three new board members replace Carl E. Schwarz, Charlene Ragatz and Janet S. Vickers, who were ousted in the recall election.

A group of residents called Citizens Unified for Responsible Education launched the recall effort last October, after the board voted 4 to 1 to allow Cedrick W. Hardman, former football coach at Laguna Beach High School, to continue as a volunteer coach despite his arrest on felony charges of possession of cocaine.

The board initially had suspended Hardman, a former All-Pro defensive end with the San Francisco 49ers, but later voted to allow him to continue coaching without pay after his physician said he was willing to reform. A judge also had suspended the criminal charges against Hardman, who had volunteered to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

CURE collected enough registered voters' signatures to force a recall vote on three of the four trustees who voted to retain Hardman. The fourth, Susan Mas, had said shortly after her vote that she regretted her decision.

Davis, 45, owner and operator of Laguna Print, and Triebwasser, 44, a pediatrician, will serve on the board until November, 1989, when the terms of Schwarz and Vickers would have expired.

However, Jones, 45, assistant vice chancellor of communications at UC Irvine, faces reelection Nov. 3, because Ragatz's term would have expired this November.

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