Community forum held for South Pasadena School Board candidates

By Isabel Barbera

Assoc. Opinion Editor

The three candidates vying for the two available South Pasadena School Board positions in the upcoming election participated in a community forum night Wednesday October 14 at the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) Board Room. Hosted by the South Pasadena Chinese-American Club, the SPUSD Council PTA, and the League of Women Voters Pasadena Area, the night served as a way for South Pas citizens to learn more about the candidates: Jon Primuth, Suzie Abajian, and Joe Loo.

The night began at 7 p.m. with opening statements from each of the candidates, and was followed with an hour of questions sent in on note cards by audience members. Controversial issues included the high school math department, new dual language immersion programs, and arts funding throughout the district. Though the potential Board members shared similar views on a myriad of issues, they significantly differed in their opinions regarding the need for funding at the middle school as well as teacher tenure and teacher salaries. However, due to the structure of the forum there was no actual argumentation.

“Since this was not a debate and there was no followup to questions, each candidate’s spin went unchallenged and the very real differences were not highlighted,” candidate Jon Primuth said.

Closing statements from the candidates concluded the night around 8:30 p.m. Refreshments were served after, and many remained to talk individually with the candidates or discuss the issues raised.

“I am excited to have been here to participate in this process of democracy,” City Council member Marina Khubesrian said. “I think we have some really great choices; all three candidates are passionate and are running for the right reasons.”

The election for the two School Board positions and Measure L, regarding a library parcel tax, will take place on Tuesday, November 3. South Pasadena citizens age 18 or older can register to vote online or by picking up voter registration forms at the Post Office, Public Library, City Clerk’s Office, and the Police Department Window.

See Tiger Newspaper’s print edition coming out on October 30 to learn more about the three candidates.