By Robin N. Kendall
October 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County residents in Area 6 of Mountain Empire Unified School District will either reelect incumbent school board president Tina Heimerdinger, or choose challenger Story R. Vogel, a retired historian who also coaches a the Mountain Empire High School football team.
According to the district website at https://www.meusd.org, Mountain Empire serves families living in Pine Valley, Campo, Descanso, Boulevard, Portero, Lake Morena and Jacumba. Chris Anderson, the incumbent in Area 7 (Campo), is running for reelection unopposed.
Story Vogel responded to East County Magazine (ECM) questions and submitted his biography and ballot statement. Incumbent Tina Heimerdinger was also invited to participate via several emails, but did not respond.
Heimerdinger, who is president of the board, has served on it for more than a decade including the turbulent tenure of Superintendent Steve Van Zant, who pled guilty to felony conflict of interest and was ordered to repay the district $50,000. Van Zant set up charter schools in other districts overseen by Mountain Empire from which his consulting company profited, as ECM reported, also raising questions over lack of oversight by the board on Heimerdinger’s watch.
Here are Vogel's responses: