Winds of Change!
John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” As we all know, the leadership of our country recently went through a change. But possibly more important for our daily life here in Vista, the leadership in our local community is changing as well.
For the third consecutive election, an incumbent city council member for the City of Vista was beaten by a challenger. Cody Campbell, a first-term council member lost out to local businessman and school PTA leader Joe Green. Joe also had to beat 4 other challengers to win his seat on the Vista City Council. Incumbent Amanda Rigby was the top vote getter and will serve her second term on the council. Four years ago Cody Campbell was the top vote getter as he and Amanda unseated incumbent city council member/restaurant owner Frank Lopez. Then two years ago John Franklin narrowly defeated first-term councilman Dave Cowles, who was formerly the Superintendent of Vista Unified School District.
And speaking of our schools, changes are on the horizon for Vista Unified School District as well. In October of 2011, Vista Unified switched from community-wide elections for all five school board trustees, to five individual districts within the school district boundaries. 2016 marked the third election since these districts were put in place, but it was the first election with truly contested races. All three of the districts that had elections this cycle had challengers and two of the three contests resulted in new trustees being elected. What that means is that 40% of the current board leadership will be new beginning next month. That is a large shift in one election.
In District 1, Rosemary Smithfield, a teacher at Grapevine Elementary School defeated the two-term incumbent Elizabeth Jaka 62% to 37%. Rosemary has taught school for 30 years, including 23 years in Vista Unified. Now she will be helping guide an entire district instead of a particular classroom.
District 4 had two challengers that opposed two-term incumbent Angela Chunka. Cipriano Vargas won the contest by beating out both Angela and fellow challenger Heather Emaus. Cipriano is a product of Vista schools and graduated college at Cal State San Marcos. After graduating he served as a Kindergarten teacher in San Antonio, TX. So he too will bring a classroom perspective to the Board of Trustees.
In District 5 incumbent Richard Alderson beat out challenger Roland Balmer 55% to 44%. Rich was first elected in 2012 after serving over 40 in education, including a seven-year run as the Principal of Rancho Buena Vista High School from 1999 to 2006.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only thing that is constant is…. change.” Here’s to Vista’s future!
Vista Chamber of Commerce