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Our Opinion: Sanders, Hull, McFadding for E.C. elementary

November 01, 2001

Controversy breeds interest, which may by why there is a field of six strong candidates for three seats on the El Centro Elementary School District board.

The district's protracted contract dispute, which ended earlier this year after months of ugly brawling, certainly brought district issues to the forefront in the Imperial Valley. And with contract talks to start again soon, things again may heat up in the ECESD.

There are other issues in the district, such as new reading and math programs and standardized test scores that are on an upward swing but still need to get higher, yet the contract dispute left scars in the district that may not have healed for all.

That is why we are endorsing Sedalia Sanders for the one two-year seat on the board. Sanders, a longtime El Centro city councilwoman and community, regional and statewide leader, has a deserved reputation for being a calming and measured presence in the public sector. Such a presence is needed on the board, particularly with contract negotiations again on the horizon. Her opponent, incumbent Janie Marlborough, seems to have not fully put the contract dispute behind her, which is too bad because she has much to offer the district and the community.

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Incumbent Ron Hull seems to be better moving on from past board rumbles. Hull has a history of public service in the Imperial Valley to which few could compare. He is a genuinely fine man. We endorse his re-election to a four-year seat.

George McFaddin is the other candidate we are endorsing for a four-year seat. McFaddin also has an admirable lifetime of public service but a more vital factor is that he knows the issues as well or better than the other candidates. He will bring wisdom, intelligence and caring to the board.

The other two candidates are good ones, too. Ramona Luera Dillon has served admirably on the El Centro elementary board for the last few months after being appointed to a seat. Mike Lara is a professional educator who knows the field, the community and the issues particular to this race.

It is not that Dillon, Lara and Marlborough are not qualified. It is just that they are facing heady competition in a race of great interest.

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