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Wilk takes stage alone

Two invited Assembly candidates don’t attend forum

Posted: April 23, 2012 10:28 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2012 10:28 p.m.
 

Assembly District contender Scott Wilk took center stage at a candidates forum Monday night — literally — when he ended up being the only candidate stepping onto the stage at the Canyon Theatre Guild.

Sitting comfortably at a table center stage under the spotlights, Wilk answered questions intended for three Republican candidates.

Each of his opponents invited to the roundtable discussion of political issues — Patricia McKeon, wife of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, and William S. Hart High School District board member Paul Strickland — informed sponsors of the forum that they would not be attending. The forum was sponsored by a group of Republican clubs.

Wilk began his one-man show on the issue of education, saying: “In the short term, we need to raise academic standards and expectations.

“In the long term, we have to change the whole education paradigm.  We still use an 1850s model to teach our children. So you have teacher up front, talking to  our kids.

“We should individually assess every student so we know what their strengths and what their passions are,” he said, to a crowd of about 100 people. “Kids are often bored because we’re teaching to the lowest common denominator.

“The biggest impediment to reforming education is the California Teachers Association,” Wilk said, to enthusiastic applause.

On the issue of environmental regulations deterring business from staying and operating in California, Wilk said the California Environmental Quality Act must be reformed.

“Historically, CEQA has been the holy grail of the left,” he said.

“Clearly, it’s not working. When you have the building trades somewhere in the mid-20s percent unemployment, you’re going to get push-back from labor. We have to go in and reform this,” he said. “What was once a three-page document in 1971 is now this monstrosity. Frankly, it has grown not through proper planning and legislation, it’s grown through litigation.”

Wilk also said he would get rid of the California Air Resources Board.

“I’m tired of these unelected bureaucracies telling us how to live our lives,” he said, to more rigorous applause.

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