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UPDATE: Incumbents jump into SCV election fray

Posted: July 16, 2013 6:31 p.m.
Updated: July 16, 2013 6:31 p.m.

With the filing period for November elections just two days old, Santa Clarita Valley incumbents led a veritable stampede to the county registrar’s office by Tuesday, declaring their intentions to run again for local school districts and a lone water board.

By late Tuesday, all three incumbents for two school boards — College of the Canyons’ Board of Trustees and the Newhall School District board — had declared their intentions to keep their seats.

In the case of the Newhall district, incumbents announced their re-election bids in a joint email, suggesting they could run as a slate in November.

Two of the three current board members in yet another district had also announced they would run again.
Six school districts will be on the ballot in November, each with three of five seats up for grabs. Newhall County Water District also has three of five seats open for voters to cast ballots in the sprawling district.

The deadline to file for the election is Aug. 9. If an incumbent does not file to keep his or her seat, the deadline is automatically extended to Aug. 14.

College of the Canyons
Current COC board President Michael Berger, longtime Trustee Joan MacGregor and recently appointed Trustee Steve Zimmer have all announced their intention to seek an additional four-year term on the board, which oversees and sets policy for the two COC campuses in Canyon Country and Valencia.

Berger was first elected to the board in 2009 and is seeking his second full term as a trustee.

“While it’s impossible to predict all of the challenges the future will bring, I am confident in my abilities to make the right decisions on behalf of our community and for the continued success of our community college,” Berger said in a news release. “As a proud graduate of College of the Canyons, I am humbled to have had this amazing opportunity.”

MacGregor, who has served on the board for some 20 years, told The Signal Tuesday she has filed paperwork to run for re-election.

MacGregor said she thinks continuity on the board has helped COC.

“I think the continuity makes long-range planning possible,” she said. “You’re not constantly changing people and visions and ideas.”

MacGregor, who also served on the Sulphur Springs School District board, said she wants to continue to see COC grow and develop.

Zimmer was appointed to the board in January as a replacement for Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who resigned his board seat upon election to the Assembly.

“I am honored to have been selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as a board member and I am very focused on keeping our college fiscally strong,” Zimmer said in a news release announcing his candidacy Monday.

“I look forward to continuing this involvement as an elected board member and applying the knowledge gained as a trustee since my appointment to benefit COC, our students and the Santa Clarita Valley.”

Zimmer said his past business experience, which includes a stint as an executive at Newhall Land, has given him experience in local and state legislative matters.

Newhall School District
The three incumbents up for re-election in the Newhall School District, Phil Ellis, Christy Smith and Brian Walters, announced they plan to run again in a joint news release issued Tuesday.

“Christy, Phil and I remain committed to providing leadership to the District we are privileged to serve,” said Walters in the news release.

Ellis has served on the board of the William S. Hart Union High School District.
Smith is seeking her second term on the Newhall board. She has also been a member of the Hart District Advisory Committee.

Walters was originally appointed to the Newhall board in 2009 and was elected to fill a partial term in 2011. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Hart district’s WiSH Education Foundation.

William S. Hart Union High School District
Incumbents for seats in the Hart district are also lining up for re-election. Current board President Joe Messina announced his intention to run in a news release Tuesday.

“I believe we’ve made tremendous progress toward the goals I set when I was first elected nearly four years ago, and I am excited to continue the work that must be done to provide our children a brighter future,” Messina said in a news release.

The board’s newest member, Chris Fall, has also told The Signal he plans to seek election to a full term in November.

Fall was appointed in June to fill the vacancy created by the departure of board member Paul Strickland.

Other seats
Seats are also up for grabs in the Castaic Union School District, the Saugus Union School District, the Sulphur Springs School District and the Newhall County Water District.

Those interested in running can do so now by filing declarations of candidacy with the Los Angeles County Office of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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