The four candidates hoping to succeed Brooke Ashjian to represent the Bullard High School region on the Fresno Unified school board debated congenially Tuesday (Sept. 26) night.
Things were so copacetic, that afterward, candidates engaged in handshakes, hugs, and smiles after sharing views on taxes, school safety, and Measure X spending, among many topics.
Terri Edwards kibitzed with the wife and daughter of one of her opponents, Terry Slatic.
Nasreen Johnson, a publicist for Fresno EOC, and Amanda Karabian, a self-described mom, joined Edwards, an administrator with the Parents University program at Fresno Unified and Slatic, a retired Marine Corps officer and business executive.
The four are seeking to replace Ashjian, who opted not to run for re-election. He has endorsed Slatic.
“Whatever is going to create situations that will help our kids is worth it.”—candidate Terri Edwards
“If it is in fact passed, it lends some options achieving the things we all believe,” Slatic said. But, he followed that how to spend the money is a different topic.
Edwards hoped any proceeds could help reduce class size.
“Whatever is going to create situations that will help our kids is worth it,” Edwards said.
Johnson recognized the need for more funding, but wants to examine the current budget first before seeking a new tax.
Karabian agreed about reducing class size and looking at the budget first.
Amanda Karabian would engage the voters, by meeting with them at school sites to learn what the needs are.
She wants to spend such funds to positively impact the kids.
Karabian would engage the voters, by meeting with them at school sites to learn what the needs are.
Slatic questioned the district philosophy on spending the money on the worst facilities first, wondering what the definition of “worst” is.
“Is worst simply age? Is worst simply that this roof has dry rot? I’m not satisfied that there are inspections going on,” Slatic said. He also called for the district to establish a building plan.
Edwards said that the district needs to distribute money in an equitable manner.
“What do students really need? Equal would be they all have the same thing. But maybe they don’t need the same thing … we have to look at equity versus equality.” she said.
“If (a parcel tax) is in fact passed, it lends some options achieving the things we all believe.”—candidate Terry Slatic.
He noted that the ShotSpotter gunshot detection program is not near Bullard.
However, other candidates showed lukewarm support for expanding ShotSpotter.
Edwards felt ShotSpotter is just one of the safety measures the district should take, including active shooter training.
“(ShotSpotter) is only helpful after shots are fired,” she said. Johnson suggested additional security and mental health services.
Karabian wants to bring more people to the table to decide what safety upgrades might be needed.
GV Wire along with CMAC hosted the Area 7 debate, as well as debates for the three other Fresno Unified seats up for election.