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No need for Glendale school board changes

March 08, 2013

The race for Glendale school board looks like a power grab to me. Why else would anyone want to unseat any of the three outstanding incumbents who are running to serve us again?

Let me start with this alarm — Jennifer Freemon is backed by the Glendale Teachers Assn. Her husband, Allen Freemon, is a past president of the GTA, and is still a GTA board member. That probably sounds great. But can anyone else see that these relationships create a clear conflict of interest for GUSD? The problem ahead is that the school board will be involved in labor contract negotiations with the GTA. I fear that school board members who may be perceived as beholden to the interests of the GTA cannot fulfill their duties to those who elected them.

I’m not trying to make the GTA look like bad guys, but the GTA has been adversarial with the school board. It’s unfair for them to create candidates who might have an interest on both sides of the table. Jennifer Freemon seems like a nice person, but I will not vote for her because I have reasonable concerns that she and her husband are too close to the GTA leadership to avoid a conflict of interest on the GUSD board.

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The three incumbents in this election deserve our unanimous support. Greg Krikorian, Joylene Wagner and Chris Walters have a record of strong accomplishments under a very difficult state budget. There have been no teacher layoffs under their guidance. Student performance scores have improved, school facilities continue to be updated with no increase in the tax rate. Experience matters. Don’t vote to stack the deck against yourself.

Kurt Sawitskas
Glendale

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