Goldberg, Chardiet Win School Board Contest

In a close race that didn’t close until the small hours of the morning, Nancy Goldberg and Laura Chardiet are now elected to the Culver City School Board.

With Goldberg scoring 2,213 votes she was the top candidate. Chardiet came in close behind with 1, 926 votes. Coming in third was current school board president Scott Zeidman with 1,898 votes. With 24, 617 voters registered, less than 1/4 of the electorate turned out to vote.

It was a long campaign that garnered a great deal of community interest and much controversy.

Chardiet offered that the best part of the campaign had been the support of her community. “All the people who gave their time and their money, who walked the city with me, who went out and walked for me, it was really heartening how much people care about our schools.”

Goldberg said that the best part of her campaign had been her students involvement. “Getting the kids to get out and vote, lots of them in their first election, that felt good.” She also offered kudos to her campaign managers, Stephen and Sandy Schwartz, for getting her across the finish line.

The new board will be seated in

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6 Comments

  1. Actually, the 24, 617 number is Culver City’s total voter registration, not the votes cast in this election, per the County of Los Angeles Registrar/County Clerk Election Results web page. The total number of votes cast was only 6,417…a figure which is a poor turnout on its own and even worse when you realize each voter had two votes and many (most?) used them both. It could have been as few as 3,200 voters that decided the future of our schools. Sad.

  2. It is my understanding that in every school board election it is only around 2-3,00 or so voters who come out and vote. We parents are allowing other people to make very important decisions for us. Yes, there are a number of parents who do vote (myself included) but often the voters are people who do not currently have a child in CCUSD. Does anyone have a suggestion about how to address that? Personally it concerns me that someone who while on the board implemented and supported so many important and constructive changes and made hard budget decisions which kept the cuts away from the students was not more fully supported by the community. I have faith that the School Board will do their best and will support the seating of Ms. Chardiet and Ms. Goldberg. It also concerns me that in the current climate a run for school board means the spending of $15,000 to $20,000 in election mailers, signs, calls etc. Does choosing the best candidate really have to cost that much?

  3. Please be aware that last night’s election returns are not final, certified results. These will not be posted until after provisional ballots are checked and counted, and after a random sampling is counted by hand at the Registrar of Voters’ Office.

  4. Hi Jamie,

    I make it a point to not comment on these sites, but 2 of your comments sparked responses:

    First, you make it sound like the votes of parents are more significant than the votes of non-parents. Not only is that inaccurate, in my opinion, but it is exactly contrary to the measure EE campaign message. We were told that all community members have a stake in the success of the schools. Good schools improve the economy, reduce crime, and increase property values. Seniors, young people, parents of graduates, and those with no kids should be encouraged to participate in elections and congratulated for their interest in our district. Obviously, we as a community should do all we can to encourage all people to vote in school board elections, but I think that targeting parents over everyone else sets up an unnecessary competition and devalues the votes of all of us who love CCUSD, but have no kids in the schools.

    Second, I want to comment on election costs now that the election is over. Is it unfortunate that the post office and sign makers charge so much for their services? Yes, of course. But if the alternative is not being able to communicate your message to the voters, then I definitely prefer this. Otherwise, we end up with the winners being determined based on name recognition, not ideas. Communicating with voters is an essential component of a successful campaign and that costs money. It’s part of running a representative democracy. If we want to reduce campaign costs, then we should have board members (and council members) run in districts rather than city-wide. Communicating with 5,000 voters is cheaper than communicating with 25,000.

  5. I agree with Mr. Silbiger regarding ALL community members having a stake in good education. It is a COMMUNITY. The success of our students is to everyone’s benefit.

    I also agree that election costs – whether local or national – are currently a sad reality and I support campaign finance reform.

    Every person who has the right to vote should do some research and participate in the democratic process.

    Those who were moved to vote in this election considered the whole picture and made their voices heard.

  6. I think Jamie’s comment on parents voting – or NOT voting, as the case may be – has been misinterpreted: Jamie is merely encouraging parents to vote. And though I agree that the school board and district have an impact on our entire community, and it is certainly important to have input from all quarters, those most directly impacted by the decisions the Board makes are our STUDENTS – and thus their parents or guardians absolutely should be more fully engaged in what the Board is doing, just as they should be more fully engaged in what is going on at their child(ren)’s school site. In fact, the notion that parents should be more involved with their child’s education and schools is accepted as a truism. Why then should the notion that parents need to be encouraged – poked, reminded, even chided – to get out and vote in school board races be attacked?!

    Let’s look for a moment at the reality of trying to properly fund our schools: in the face of stark annual budget cuts from Sacramento during this recession, we as a community mustered a parcel tax of just under a $100 annually for a 5-year period. Part of the bargain in passing that ballot measure was a senior citizen exemption on parcel taxes, which often get incorporated into such measures in good part because of seniors’ fixed income, but most assuredly also because seniors constitute the majority of voters in local elections.

    As seniors, generally speaking, no longer have children in public schools, they also no longer have a direct vested interest in the schools, and are far less likely to vote to tax themselves to improve our school funding base – it’s simply no longer in their self interest to do so. This is not a value judgment at all; it is a straightforward reflection of reality. When you’re worried about finding the money to pay for the Medicaid ‘donut hole’, you’re not so worried about the student-to-teacher ration at the school down the street. The exemption thus enables seniors – who, as consistent voters and involved citizens, understand the overall benefit of a parcel tax – to vote for the tax, while simultaneously exempting themselves from paying it, greatly increasing the chances that a parcel tax will pass. This is especially important with the super majority required to pass any tax in this state. Indeed, the success of our Culver City parcel tax, mathematically speaking, was the combination of getting more parents out to vote while reassuring concerned seniors that they could file exemptions.

    Said slightly differently, parents with kids currently enrolled in our schools clearly have the most vested interest in what goes on in our schools, yet they’re not the majority of voters in a school board race. It is a curious phenomenon. Yet that’s no different than any other constituency that allows others to represent their interests, and it’s frankly a poor reflection on parents who can’t be bothered to get involved in decisions that directly affect them, effectively disenfranchising themselves.

    All Jamie has been doing, then, is beseeching those with the greatest vested interest in what goes on at our schools to get out and exercise their right to vote. Encouraging parents to do so should never be undermined, least of all by board members. Encouraging parents does not devalue anyone’s vote nor does it create “competition;” it is merely an attempt to motivate directly affected parties to get out and vote. Indeed, as part of the democratic process, directly affected parties should always be encouraged to get more involved.

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