Big Battle Brewing for School Board: Those Obtaining Nominating Papers Include:
Norm Ryan (Prop J Utility Tax Cut Advocate)
Marilyn Russell Bittle (Former Pres. CA Teachers Ass'n, Former Exec Dir. Teachers Ass'n of LB) (Update 3/12: We list early endorsers and info from press release/web site)
Richard Green (Former Pres. Long Beach Area Citizens Involved - LBACI)
George Nagle (Retired lawyer, Minnie Gant PTA legis. rep.)
Plus: Yolanda Benavidez, Matt Duggan & Jon Meyer
Dinko Bozanich (Update 3/12: Won't be filing)
June 10 special election will fill now vacant seat of late Ed Eveland covering southeast LB.
(March 11, 2003, updated March 12) -- Norm Ryan, whose Proposition J allowed voters to cut LB's utility tax in half over five years (opposed by City Hall, supported by roughly 70% of voters) has informed LBReport.com that he will seek the LB school Board seat now vacant following the death of incumbent Ed Eveland.
A June 10, 2003 winner-take-all special election will be held to fill the LBUSD board seat covering much of southeast Long Beach now vacant following the death of longtime incumbent Ed Eveland
A number of other prospective candidates have requested nominating papers which (as with Mr. Ryan) must be filed by March 14 at 5:00 p.m. to entitle them to become official candidates. They are:
Marilyn Russell Bittle (Pres. CA Teachers Association 1982-86 (VP 1978-82), Exec. Dir. Teachers Ass'n of LB 1986 & Exec. Dir. 1988-retirement in 2002; public school teacher in Bellflower School District (approx. 30 years) and Las Vegas (approx. 1.5 years)
Update: 3/12: Ms. Bittle declared her candidacy in a March 5 press release. Excerpt: "Bittle...notes her knowledge of state and local education budgets, her work with state officials to implement school reforms, and her role in securing a peaceful bargaining process in Long Beach as credentials for the position of school board member. Her early endorsements include the Teachers Association of Long Beach and State Senator Betty Karnette." As of 3/12 on her web site, listed endorsers also include Ass'yman Alan Lowenthal & CA Teachers Ass'n.
Richard K. Green (Former Pres. Long Beach Area Citizens Involved - LBACI; Mr. Green told us on 3/11, "I'm ready to roll. Can't wait to get started.")
George Nagle (Retired lawyer, rep'd school districts, pvt. schools and cities, now Minnie Gant PTA legis. rep.)
Yolanda Benavidez [information pending; page will be updated]
Matt Duggan [information pending; page will be updated]
Jon Meyer [information pending; page will be updated]
Dinko J. Bozanich (Update 3/12: Tells LBReport.com he won't be filing; indicates timing isn't right for him at this point; not excluding it in future)
[Using information provided by the L.A. County Clerk, we emailed and/or telephoned individuals who as of 3:30 p.m. 3/11 had sought candidate papers. We are updating this page to reflect additional candidate information as received.]
In November, 2000 Mr. Ryan scored a landslide victory with Prop J, a petition-initiated measure cutting LB's formerly 10% utility tax in half over five years.
In a 2002 Mayoral bid, Mr. Ryan advocated fiscal and civic reform in challenging incumbent Beverly O'Neill. Mayor O'Neill's campaign sounded the theme that LB was "on the right track." Mr. Ryan -- who has private sector experience in evaluating government budgets -- said he would personally review budgets prepared by city management...and prepare his own if necessary. O'Neill, endorsed by the Press-Telegram and the Gazette newspapers, won an unprecedented third term write-in victory.
Following the election (in which Ryan finished third to O'Neill and Vice Mayor Dan Baker), Mayor O'Neill conceded City Hall's budget was awash in red ink and City Hall spending was far exceeding revenue.
In a written release announcing his candidacy, Mr. Ryan said, "As I look at the future of the LBUSD, I am struck that the greatest challenges facing it are financial. Unless we find innovative and efficient solutions, the State and Federal budget crisis will affect the
quality of the education that we can provide for our students. I believe that my experience in school finance and budgeting can provide those solutions."
Mr. Ryan is married and the father of three sons. He earned a B.A. in Economics from CSU Fullerton, an MBA (Finance) from UCLA, served in the U.S. Army and has an expertise in government finance. Formerly chairman of LB's Public Safety Advisory Commission, Mr. Ryan was elected last year to the LB area Water Replenishment District board seat.