Scheduling conflict cutting into Galatzan’s time at candidate forum
LA School Report | February 10, 2015
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A scheduling conflict is depriving another candidate forum of an incumbent LA Unified board member.
A Feb. 17 event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles may include only a short appearance by Tamar Galatzan, who is seeking a third term as the Valley-based District 3 representative. Her office said she had previously scheduled a community meeting focused on the district budget and may only be able to attend the forum long enough to give an opening statement.
“We never got an official invitation that said this is the date of the forum,” said Barbara Jones, Galatzan’s chief of staff. “We had already scheduled a town meeting on the budget.”
David Uranga of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council, a co-sponsor, said he had notified Galatzan in December that a forum would be held on Feb. 17. He said he later learned that Galatzan did not receive the same participating agreement that the other candidates got.
“It was a miscommunication with the League of Women voters,” he said.
Galatzan, who was first elected to the board in 2007, is facing five challengers in the March 3 elections. Only two candidate events have been scheduled for her District, one on Feb. 12 at North Hollywood High School and the Feb. 17 forum.
Jones said that Galatzan schedules an annual community meeting to discuss budget issues, and the one this year, at Holmes Middle School, had been put on her calendar on Jan. 22. She said two district officials who were invited to join the meeting, Edgar Zazueta and Cheryl Simpson, confirmed their availability on Jan. 27.
Zazueta is the district’s chief lobbyist; Simpson is the deputy budget director.
Jones said her office only learned of the form last week. An effort to reach the League of Women Voters for comment was unsuccessful.
The candidate forum is scheduled to begin at 6 o’clock and continue for 75 minutes. Galatzan pushed the start of the community meeting to 6:30 so that she could attend the start of the forum.
Galatzan is the second incumbent running into a scheduling problem. District 5 representative Bennett Kayser, a strong ally of the teachers union, UTLA, cancelled his participation in two forums sponsored by the United Way-Los Angeles over what his office called “scheduling conflicts.”
The second of the forums is tonight at the Old Timers Foundation in Huntington Park. Kayser’s absence will leave the stage to his two challengers, Ref Rodríguez and Andrew Thomas, who also canceled his appearance in the first United Way debate.
The LA Times questioned whether politics could have been a factor in Kayser’s decision that the United Way and some of the community groups serving as co-sponsors often disagree with his policies.
* Adds comment from co-sponsor Northridge West Neighborhood Council