As a relatively new resident to Laguna Beach, I was curious to hear the School Board Forum held Thursday night at Top of the World Elementary School. There were the two current incumbent school board members and the two new candidates for School Board on the panel. I was especially interested to hear from Bill Landsiedel (incumbent) since he has spent much of is time accusing the new candidates (Tammy Keces and Dee Perry) of having personal agendas and a singular issue.
Bill Landsiedel’s platform seems to be that Laguna Beach has high test scores so there is no need to change the anything about the school board. He answered most questions as if he was a lawyer defending a guilty client. When asked about the need for a nutritional change for the schools lunch program he responded “…that the school is not a restaurant.” He projected himself as someone who was most concerned about keeping his job and not very concerned about improving the education of the community’s youth.
Both Jan Vickers and Bill Landsiedel stated over and over again that they were both very happy with the current school board. Seemed like a convenient point of view (given that they both sit on the board and want to remain there.) They seemed both defensive and condescending.
Dee Perry (new candidate) seemed like she wasn’t prepared. At one point the moderator accidentally skipped her and she seemed relieved. She strikes me as a heartfelt teacher, not a serious candidate.
Tammy Keces was the refreshing light in the room. Her point of view on education and school curriculum comes from a “new school of thought” that our schools can be better. It seemed apparent to me, my guest and most of those sitting around us that Tammy was the only person on the forum that actually had a plan for improving the schools and that the school board should be held accountable for that.
We should want our communities best and the brightest sitting on the school board. After hearing the Forum, in my mind, Tammy is the one bright spot in this election.
John Marks, Laguna Beach