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County Elections Promise More Than a Measure of Controversy : Backing for Naming County School Chief

October 30, 1988

The Orange County Grand Jury, your government watchdog agency, has confirmed time and time again that there are very serious deficiencies in the management and operations of the County Department of Education. Report after report has pointed to waste and duplication taking place in this $50-million-a-year department. The press is well aware of the many grand jury final reports dealing with the Department of Education and know that Measure A is not a personal attack against anyone but simply would improve the department's operation. Having both the board of education and the superintendent as elected officials, as they are now, results in conflicting and ill-defined roles for each. For the sake of good management, accountability must be made clear and unequivocal.

The special Blue Ribbon Commission which was created by the elected Board of Education has recommended that the position of county superintendent be made appointive . The current superintendent would be free to apply and compete for the job with other interested and qualified candidates. Every other superintendent of schools in Orange County is appointed. The elected boards can strengthen the professional standards for the position of superintendent by hiring, evaluating and removing these superintendents, if necessary. Interestingly, there is no regular performance evaluation of the elected county superintendent.

The public will preserve its right to elect the County Board of Education. The choice is simple. Vote for an appointed superintendent and the selection will be made on merit. Vote for an elected superintendent and the job is wrapped in politics. I urge you to vote for an appointed county superintendent on Measure A. Your vote to appoint will be a vote to upgrade this very important county position.

KENT S. MOORE

Corona del Mar

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