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Bellflower Unified School District

Fourteen Southeast and Long Beach 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.

September 16, 1993

Enrollment: 10,500

Areas served: Bellflower and parts of Cerritos and Lakewood.

On the ballot: Four candidates, including one incumbent and three challengers, are running for three seats. Incumbents Justine Miller and Larry Ward are not seeking reelection.

INCUMBENT

Harold C. Carman

Appointed board member since 1991

Age: 34

Occupation: Analyst, Department of Motor Vehicles

Residence: Bellflower

Remarks: Bellflower is trying to develop a stronger vocational educational program, he said. On district finances: "So far we've been very lucky. We've passed a balanced budget every year without losing personnel. When I was appointed, one of my goals was to increase the amount of grants the school district received and sought to go after. We've developed a real good program for seeking out grants and applying for them." He succeeded in getting more state and federal grants for the district. "We brainstormed with some of the other administrators. Usually when grant information comes out, you have a short amount of time to apply for them. Because we're thinking ahead in anticipating grants, we're ahead of the game timewise."

CANDIDATES

G. (Petie) Anderson

Age: 40

Occupation: Home health care worker

Residence: Bellflower

Remarks: "I'd like to have a stronger vocational education department. I think vocational education is very important for the college-bound, but particularly for (other) students. We need to teach them skills they can use for life and not hand them a diploma at the end of 12 years and say, 'Thank you very much.' I'd also like to form partnerships with industry in our city and surrounding cities. Cerritos College has a wonderful mechanics lab. I'd like to have one at Bellflower High where we would have state-of-the-art equipment. I think I have a well-rounded feel for the school district and children's needs."

Linda Devine

Age: 42

Occupation: secretary at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Residence: Lakewood

Remarks: "I'm against the voucher initiative as it's written. I think parents do have to have some say as to where their children are going to school, but as far as the voucher initiative itself, I don't think it's going to benefit all the parties." She supports creating partnerships with junior colleges and with small businesses that would help improve the district's vocational education programs. "We need to enhance the training, either through grants or other avenues. We just really need to make sure at the elementary levels that the kids are getting a good foundation because that will build their self-esteem. If a child can read, if they do better in school, they feel better about themselves." She has been active in the PTA and would give up her job with the school district if elected. "As an employee of the school district, I feel I can give a new perspective as far as being (at school) on a daily basis."

David W. Manuel

Age: 26

Occupation: Landscaper and convention organizer

Residence: Bellflower

Remarks: "I think there's a bit of a leadership void" on the school board. He opposes a decision by school board members who voted for lifetime health benefits, and believes they should reject the benefits when they leave the board. "I would really like to see if legally we can reverse that. We've been told so far the decision is irreversible, but I would like to see if that's erroneous." He also is concerned about the loss of two assistant principals at Bellflower and Mayfair high schools and would like to reinstate them. "I served five years on the Bellflower public advisory transportation commission, so I have appointed governmental experience."

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