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East Whittier City School District

This is one in a series examining election issues in some of the districts.

September 09, 1993

Fourteen Southeast area school systems and three community college districts will have board elections Nov. 2. This is one in a series examining election issues in some of the districts.

Enrollment: 7,700 students

Areas served: Parts of east Whittier and La Mirada, and nearby unincorporated areas east of Whittier.

On the ballot: Five candidates for three seats. Board member David F. Weitzel, who was appointed to replace Trustee Paula Hodgin, chose not to run for election.

CANDIDATES

Robert R. Ehlers

Age: 50

Occupation: Finance manager for an auto dealership

Residence: Whittier

Remarks: A local resident who trains guide dogs for the disabled, he says: "My interest would be to make sure that students with disabilities are getting the same benefits and programs that other students are getting. We're doing an excellent job at that. I just want it to continue." He believes the district is well-run financially, but that he can add a background in business finance to the board. "I'm a stickler for details. I believe that if we can fine-tune finance and change the way things are done, maybe the schools can run a lot better. That's my goal." He also favors volunteer programs that help students get involved in community affairs. "Maybe something will ring a bell, and maybe they'll say, 'Ha, that's what I want to do.' "

C. (Randy) King

Age: 45

Occupation: Video equipment salesman

Residence: La Mirada

Remarks: "I'm concerned about the quality of education kids are receiving. In my opinion, there's a lack of quality in Whittier. I don't think the kids are being challenged. What I would do is sit down at each school and talk with principals and teachers, have them present a plan on how to academically challenge the kids. We need more materials, and we need the teachers to challenge the kids." He opposes a November ballot initiative that would provide vouchers for parents to send children to the public or private schools of their choice. "But those people who run the educational system have got to wake up and make some changes. I think we have to keep the kids off the street and occupied. If parents are working, I'd rather have children at school somewhere being supervised rather than at home unsupervised. My whole thing has been working with kids. I just want to give each child the possibility to make it in life through education and through recreation programs as well."

Mark G. Rodriguez

Age: 36

Occupation: Personnel director for a manufacturing firm

Residence: Whittier

Remarks: "There needs to be an improvement in after-school programs." He said he would work to raise money and materials from local business owners. "Even better would be to have business people volunteer time to put together programs after school, for writing skills, public speaking and computer skills. Some businesses may have computers at their businesses and teach (schoolchildren) at their businesses. There's an untapped resource." Students also need to be more involved in school activities to have an alternative to gangs and graffiti tagging. "I have two daughters; I'm a concerned parent. I want to make sure all the kids get a solid education. There's a lot of parents I talk to who want to send their kids to private school." He added that his personal mission would be to demonstrate that "public schools are better or equal to private schools in the area."

Susan Hunter Eiden

Board member since 1989

Age: 42

Occupation: Junior high teacher in Los Angeles Unified School District

Residence: Whittier

Remarks: "It's been a difficult process working with the financial conditions presented to educational institutions in the state of California. California, in the past few years, has not been (adequately) funding education, and that impacts each local district. One of our best accomplishments in our district is to be financially secure. We've been able to maintain programs for our students that we felt were important, and we've been able to keep employees employed. We haven't had to cut pay." She supports continued funding for fine arts programs and said that last year she fought successfully to keep music and band classes in the middle and elementary schools. "I would like to see any cuts stay as far away as possible from the classroom. The employees are a direct line to the students, so we tried to keep teachers and support personnel."

Carl Moore

Appointed board member since 1992. Also served from 1984 to 1988.

Age: 53

Occupation: Manager at a thermostat manufacturing company

Residence: Whittier

Remarks: "My campaign is going to be about the experience and knowledge and integrity that I bring to the office." He opposes a November ballot initiative that would provide vouchers for parents to send children to the public or private schools of their choice, saying it would hurt public education. "It definitely will remove funds from us. It certainly won't help educate the child more." A member for three years of the two-member budget committee, he said he would bring to the job "a good business mind and good experience working in education to keep us out of trouble. East Whittier School District is one of the ones that hasn't done a lot of cuts. I've made sure we've spent our money wisely. I've tried to bring teamwork within our school district, which helped us manage better." He said he has also maintained support of the unions in the district.

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