Grateful for LCUSD Candidates and Right to Vote (Use It)

Charlie Plowman

It’s election season … and we are in the midst of competitive federal and state races and propositions. But this article is going to emphasize “local,” and that obviously means our La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board race.
For starters, we should all be thankful to have four candidates who want to give of their time and energy to help our students. Caroline Anderson, Jeremiah Arnold, Josh Epstein and Belinda Randolph should be commended for their willingness to donate hundreds (or is it thousands?) of hours over the next four years.
The two open school board seats aren’t salaried positions. These four individuals care about our community and youth so much that they are willing to endure the criticism that is inevitable during a four-year term so they can “give back.”
This race for the governing board positions is competitive, to say the least. Four candidates, two seats.

The city has certainly seen heated races before. The one that many local residents may especially recall was for La Cañada Flintridge City Council in 1999. Jerry Martin, Deborah Orlik and Anthony Portantino were elected in a contentious race.
However, the current governing board race is seemingly the most competitive in decades. I spoke with a longtime resident who graduated from La Cañada High School in the 1970s, and she agreed.
Multiple incidents of stolen campaign signs have been confirmed by Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station officials. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. Sign stealing has been occurring during elections for years in this city. It shouldn’t be happening. And neither should threats or vandalism.
It would be nice, however, if we could appreciate that as Americans we actually have the right to vote, unlike people in so many other countries.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 43% — or 5,960 — of the 13,925 eligible voters in the LCUSD had already cast their ballots, either in person or through the mail, according to Political Data Inc. These ballots have already arrived in Norwalk, where they are being opened and processed and voters’ signatures are being verified. However, the ballots will not begin to be counted, tallied or tabulated until polls close on Nov. 3, according to LCF City Clerk Tania Moreno.
So when should we know who the two top vote-getters are for LCUSD school board?
On Tuesday, polls open at 7 a.m. and are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. Those at the back of the line at closing time will be allowed to cycle through and vote, Moreno said of regulations, and this obviously includes those at our La Cañada Flintridge Voting Center. As soon as the polls close on Election Day, the local ballots will be transported to Norwalk.
Los Angeles County hopes to release the first wave of results at approximately 8:30 p.m., with updates every 30 minutes throughout the evening. However, if the county is having any IT issues (as it did in the primary earlier this year), that timetable could be delayed.
It is hopeful that the overwhelming majority of votes will be tabulated by the wee hours Wednesday morning, so we should have a fairly good idea of how results are trending. Ballots that were mailed on Election Day (and in the immediate days prior) should be tabulated in the very near future, which will help account for the final totals.
So, in a nutshell, we could know when we wake up Wednesday who our two newest school board members will likely be. Or we might not.
Whatever the case, take advantage of being an American and make your voice heard.
And once again, a big thank you to Belinda, Caroline, Jeremiah and Josh for wanting to serve our community!

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