By Miriam Raftery
August 19, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – For the first time, the Grossmont Union High School District will elect its board trustees by individual trustee districts this fall, not at-large elections. The two seats up for grabs have each attracted four candidates (eight total) offering candidates some diverse choices.
Trustee Area 1 is a new district with no incumbent. Four candidates are in the running. Steve Babbitt is a director on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board and pastor at Spring Valley Community Church. Rolland E. Slade is a pastor at Meridian Baptist Church. Chris Fite is a teacher and parent. Richard Preciado is a retired teacher. The district includes Lemon Grove, Spring Valley and La Prensa.
Trustee Area 2 has incumbent Jim Stieringer squaring off against Kevin G. Conover, a teacher at a Christian school, Elva Salinas, a San Diego Community College district professor, and Oday Yousif Jr., an SDSU student and Valhalla High School graduate.
Nearly all of these candidates are confirmed to have qualified for the ballot according to the Registrar of Voters website. Registrar Michael Vu told ECM,” Oday Yousif, Jr.’s paperwork continues to be reviewed, specifically his ballot designation. Once completed, he will appear as having qualified.”
On additional candidate listed initially in District 1,Gloria M. Ferrara, did not file nomination documents by the deadline and will not be on the ballot, Registrar Vu confirms.
The Grossmont District has faced controversies in recent years over issues such as allocation of bond monies, suing to shut down several charter schools, defying a Grand Jury recommendation on building an Alpine High School, prompting a costly lawsuit and ongoing effort by Alpine parents to break up the district.