Abridged commentary from Pasadena Star-News: In Tuesday's local elections, many incumbents were returned as usual. Though we're always glad to see long-timers challenged - it's never good for democracy to have to cancel an election - on balance we often agreed with the voters' decision. Change for change's sake is not a pure good unless one candidate or slate has simply been there too long...
When it came to the contested three seats on the Temple City Unified School District board, a slate of populist challengers swept the election.
Bob Ridley - who ran alongside candidates Rachel LaSota and Janet Rhee - was the frontrunner with 1,332 votes, or 22 percent of the votes cast. Rhee came in next with 1,221 votes, or 20 percent. LaSota was next, with 1,057 votes or 18 percent. School board incumbent Robert McKendrick was not re-elected.
According to a commentary in the Pasadena Star-News, voters clearly said that they were looking for some fresh faces. It was by no means a matter of expressing overall dissatisfaction with the schools - Temple City remains a school district to which homebuyers specifically move in order to enroll their children.
It was more a separate list of issues. These three talked about a superintendent whose authoritative style rubbed staff the wrong way. They also spoke of bringing together the district with City Hall and trying to get more parents involved. Ridley in particular spoke out against the long delays in addressing the repairs to Emperor School from an arson fire two years ago. All three said a proposed facilities bond should be aired out more thoroughly in the community before placed on the ballot.
Ed.: We've posted this in part as a stimulus to action by alumni, whose numbers include many who continue to be interested in local affairs. Amazingly, the Emperor School fire escaped our attention, as have many other community events.
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