Claremont Insider: CUSD Board Election

Thursday, August 16, 2007

CUSD Board Election

The Claremont Board of Education election is coming up this fall, and Tony Krickl in the Claremont Courier Saturday reported on two of the candidates, Elizabeth Bingham and Hilary Leconte.

Bingham is a minister at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, and her son attended Claremont public schools. The Krickl article said that Bingham's son is now a student at Pomona College.

The other candidate profiled in the article is Hilary Leconte, who from 1989 to 1995 taught at Claremont's Vista del Valle Elementary School. Krickl reported that Leconte has lived in Claremont most of her life and has two children in the CUSD system.

We hadn't heard much about Bingham. Leconte, however, does seem to be the clear Claremont 400 candidate and was listed on the endorsement lists for Claremont City Councilmembers Sam Pedroza and Linda Elderkin.

One bothersome note about the Krickl article. It stated:

Barring some last-minute surprises, the Board of Education for the Claremont Unified School District School may avoid having an election his year. The last time Claremont failed to have a Board of Education election was back in the early 1970s, according to Linda Hunt of the CUSD superintendent’s office after conferring with some long-time district employees.


If no other candidates decide to run, the CUSD would be able to save quite a healthy chunk of change. According to Lisa Shoemaker, assistant superintendent for business services at the district, Board of Education elections typically set the district back between $50 to $70 thousand dollars. Board elections are held once every two years.

While we would hate to see someone run just for the sake of holding an election, we were troubled by the notion that holding an election is financial set back. The idea that local government ought to be tidy and efficient is at the core of the Claremont 400's autocratic tendencies.

If they had their druthers, we'd dispense with elections altogether and just appoint our city and school board leaders the way Judy Wright and the other councilmembers in 1988 appointed Glenn Southard - meet at dinner at one of their houses and give him the job.

We are still a democracy, after all, and that seems to imply holding elections, whether we like it or not. It also means that we ought not to look at the chance of not having an election as a convenient fiscal windfall.

In any case, the Daily Bulletin reported today that a third candidate, Barbara Miller, had filed papers to run for the school board, so there will be an election after all.