Lead Story West Edition

Incumbents re-elected to Compton school board; City Council pay raise rejected

COMPTON — Voters re-elected four members of the Compton school board to four-year terms Nov. 7 while rejecting a city ballot measure that would have increased the pay for the mayor and City Council.

Mae Thomas was the leading vote-getter in a school board election that drew 19 challengers. Thomas, first elected to the board in 2003, received 2,205 votes, according to unofficial results provided by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office. An updated vote count will be released Nov. 10.

Finishing second was school board President Satra Zurita, who received 2,018 votes. She was followed by Margie Garrett, with 1,654 votes and Alma Taylor-Pleasant, who received 1,241 votes.

Gregory Pitts led the challengers with 1,178 votes, followed by Rodney Curry with 1,012 votes, and Barbara Calhoun with 993 votes.

Zurita, who was the target of a recall effort that never got off the ground earlier this year, was elected to her fourth term on the board.

“The work [the board has done] is visible,” Zurita said. “The graduation rate is up to 80 percent. The dropout rate is down tremendously. We’re in the process of building a new Compton High School. The foundation is set and it’s important that we continue to have proven leaders.”

She campaigned for re-election on her record and her philosophy on education.

“I believe we should educate the whole child,” she said. “Children should be culturally, athletically, socially and academically knowledgeable when they matriculate from Compton. That is why I have supported incorporating arts and humanities into our curriculum.”

Her mother once served on the City Council and her sister, Janna, currently serves on the council.

Measure A, which would have raised City Council salaries to $43,000 a year, was overwhelmingly defeated. More than 72 percent of the voters opposed the measure, with 27.44 percent favoring the pay raise.

Council members are currently paid $600 a month ($7,200 a year), a sum that hasn’t increased since 1953.