YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Council, School Races Top Balloting : School boards: 23 districts are holding elections. The campaigns have been most heated in Pomona where the issues are test scores and overcrowding and in Hacienda La Puente where the debate centers on so-called morbid reading materials. : Azusa Unified

November 02, 1989

Five candidates are vying for three board seats in the Azusa Unified School District, which has 10,357 students.

William D. Bradway, 47, is an industrial electronics consultant. An Azusa High graduate, he has lived in the city on and off since 1952 and has a son in a local school.

Board President Rosemary Garcia, 44, has served on the board for five years and has always lived in the city. A consumer service representative in the city's utilities department, she has five children and taught catechism for two years at St. Francis of Rome Church.

Inez Z. Gutierrez, 54, has been on the board for 18 years and teaches religion at St. Francis. She has sent three children through Azusa schools. Born in Azusa, the Citrus High graduate has served on the city's advisory personnel board for eight years.

Eunice P. Harrington, a San Gabriel elementary and junior high teacher for 19 years, has served on the board eight years. A Parks and Recreation commissioner for eight years, she has served as director of the county School Board Trustees Assn. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in education at Pacific Western University.

Louis A. Zamora, 28, owns a limousine service and is data processing director at an accounting firm. He chairs the watchdog Azusa Taxpayers Assn. Born in Azusa, he graduated from Gladstone High and served in the Marine Corps for seven years. He has three children in district schools.

Baldwin Park Unified

In the Baldwin Park Unified School District, which serves 15,707 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, three candidates are running for two school board seats.

Two of the candidates, Robert C. Gair and Robert Viramontes, are longtime incumbents. Gair, 56, an estimator for a roofing company, has served on the board for 17 years. Viramontes, 47, an assistant director of data processing for the county Office of Education, has served for 16 years.

They cite the district's financial solvency, rising test scores and successful drug-prevention programs as reasons why they should be be reelected.

Their challenger is Anthony J. Bejarano, 41, a retired railroad switchman, who is running for public office for the first time. He is the founder of the Paul Bejarano Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a counseling and educational organization that he formed after his son's death.

Bejarano, who says he would donate the modest stipend received by school board members to a scholarship fund, contends that the current board does not devote enough time to interacting with high-risk youths.

Bassett Unified

Six candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three seats on the Bassett Unified School District Board of Education. About 5,100 students attend schools in the western La Puente district, which has an annual budget of about $20 million.

Challengers are personnel commissioner Anna A. Aguilar; businessman Robert J. Fuentes and railroad employee Brenda J. Johnson. They say that feuding board members have impeded the district's ability to tackle problems such as drug use and gang activity.

Challengers point to hostility displayed by incumbents Carol A. Smithberg, 55, and Hector Varela, 46, at a candidates' forum last week. Incumbent Barbara Boyd is also running.

Varela and Smithberg concede that they have deep philosophical differences about how the district should be run. But "we are very polite to each other," Smithberg said. "The district is being run well."

Varela, who is running for his third term, says his experience on the board qualifies him for reelection.

In June, Varela was the only board member who voted against consolidating school bus stops and eliminating several routes. The district approved the $100,000 cut from its $450,000 transportation budget but later reversed itself after more than 100 parents protested.

Aguilar, Boyd, Fuentes and Johnson could not be reached.

Charter Oak Unified

Two incumbents and a challenger are vying for two seats on the Charter Oak Unified School District board. The district has 5,668 students in parts of Covina, Glendora and San Dimas and the unincorporated area of Charter Oak.

Ralph E. Bristol, 55, a 12-year board veteran, has a bachelor of arts degree from Cal State Los Angeles and a master of science degree from USC. He is a professor of accounting at Rio Hondo College in Whittier and a resident of Covina.

John A. Rose, 41, Covina, has been on the board four years. He is a graduate of Mt. San Antonio College and Cal State Los Angeles and is administrator of the Masonic Home in Covina.

Lisa K. Edwards, 35, a Covina lawyer, is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and the University of the Pacific. She is vice president and manager of Trust Services of America Inc. in the Pasadena regional office.

Claremont Unified

In the Claremont Unified School District, which has 11 schools and 5,900 students, three incumbents are seeking reelection against a single challenger in a campaign that has drawn little interest.

Los Angeles Times Articles