Wesley Backus-School board unrest spreads... the letter
a t e bloomer." "an a mile-square spreads By LARRY LARUE Staff Writer THE entire ABC School Board is embroiled in a political battle over the endorsements of candidates for the 63rd District Assembly race and the differences of opinion have lead to harsh words on both sides. Board member Bruce Young, the Democratic candidate for the Assembly seat now held by Repub- l i c a n Robert McLennan, was attacked in a scathing letter signed by three board members who accused him of, among other things, using the board as a stepping stone to higher office. THE LETTER, signed by members Wesley Backus, Vincent Marchetti and George Woodwoflh. accused Y o u n g of being absent from or tardy at 62 per cent of the board's meetings this year, and said they believed "Mr. Young is only interested in Mr. Young, and Â· not the people who elected him." Three other board members, inc l u d i n g President H o l l i s G. Emmons, Vice President Ray Rodriguez and Bill Watt, responded to that letter with one of their own -attacking their fellow members of hurling "untrue and misleading" charges. "IT'S HARD to keep a civil tongue just talking about that letter," said Emmons Thursday. "This shouldn't be a school board issue at all, but once that first letter was mailed to area newspapers, we couldn't let it just stand alone. That letter is purely vindictive, it's a last minute smear campaign." Young, for his part, says he wants to stay out of it: "if I reply, it's just being defensive...! can't believe this is what politics is all about." The Backus-Marchetti-Wood- w o r t h letter, Y o u n g supporters contend, is all the more damaging because the three board members said in it. "we are all registered Democrats...but to maintain our own personal values we cannot in good faith support Mr. Young." AT LEAST one of the three, Marchetti, has publicly supported McLennan. "I feel badly that the letter was written as late in the campaign as it was," Woodworth said Thursday. "Even my wife said it was awfully late, but I personally felt I had to say something. Bruce Young is a man totally without integrity -he'll take a stand that brings him the most votes on any issue." E m m o n s disagreed emphatically: "No tme works harder on the board than Bruce does, and he's the most concientious man I've met. This letter is dirty politicking, especially coming so late in the campaign .when Bruce can't possibly answer all these charges." THE -- scheduled Monday night. There are obviously some ill feelings, one member said. "As long as I'm board president we won't discuss politics on school time," vowed Emmons. "This should never have happened." Pool repair funds sought by Lakewood By BRAD ALTMAN Staff Writer Every day about 16.000 gallons of water leak from a public swimming pool in Lakewood's Mayfair Park, and city officials hope to get $850,000 in federal money to replace the pool before any more water goes down the drain. Last week, the city filed an application w i t h the U.S. Economic Development Administration and will know in 60 days if the federal agency will agree to relase some $850,000 which the city estimates it would cost to replace the Olympic-sized pool situated at 5720 N. Clark Ave. THE POOL, built in 1952 by Los' Angeles County before Lakewood was incorporated, has major structural problems and has lost up to 36,000 gallons of water a day during the last seven years. It's the city's most popular municipally owned swimming facility. Some 100,000 residents swam there last year. It's closed to the public from Oct. 1 through Memorial Day, but it remains filled with water because it is rented to swimming clubs-through the winter. Taxpayers spend $14,000 a year for the special attention maintenance workers must give the pool because of its leak, according to Dave Mills, recreation and community services director. But with paid admissions, city officials feel it is more economical to keep the pool open than drain if. THE CITY has filed to get a chunk of S3.7 billion in money made available Oct. 26 under the Federal Public Works Employment Act. The other alternative, if that application is rejected, will be to spend $11)3.000 to reconstruct the pool -- replacing pipes, decking, filters and covering the pool with a water-impervious fiberglass coat. Mills said the city would also ask for federal funds for the refurbishing job. L.B.