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Sagal, Puglia, Jeffries win board seats

Amid residency, conflict issues, incumbent Peterson is ousted by voters.

November 05, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com
  • Left to right: David Sagal, Kaitzer Puglia, Dan Jeffries, were elected to the the La Cañada Unified School District governing board on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.
Left to right: David Sagal, Kaitzer Puglia, Dan Jeffries,… (Photos by Tim Berger…)

Three parents were elected to the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board Tuesday night, pushing out a longtime incumbent, while a Pasadena economist will fill the District 1 seat on the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees.

In the La Cañada school board race, David Sagal, an executive and attorney for Warner Bros., was the top vote-getter with 1,724 votes, or 24.55%. Sagal also raised and spent the most money among the eight candidates.

Kaitzer Puglia, a professor at Pasadena Community College, and Dan Jeffries, a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, were nearly tied with more than 19% of the vote each. Puglia had a slight lead on Jeffries, with 1,374 votes. Jeffries won 1,364 votes.

Jennifer Rubendall, owner of Urban Fitness Pilates Studio, incumbent Joel Peterson, counselor and doctorate student Karyn Riel, Glendale Community College student Kevork Kurdoghlian and recent Harvard graduate Ian Mirisola trailed behind.

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COMPLETE ELECTION COVERAGE

Sagal, Puglia and Kaitzer will fill three open seats on the school board. Current board members Susan Boyd and Scott Tracy decided not to seek reelection. Peterson, who served two four-year terms on the board, was questioned about his residency and a possible conflict of interest with an education consulting business over the course of his campaign. As the only incumbent, he ran a campaign focused on his experience.

Peterson did not return phone or email requests for comment about the election results.

Three candidates under the age of 30 also tossed their hats in the ring, saying that they would bring a fresh perspective to the board. But in the end, voters chose to elect three parents who have strong ties to the community.

The 58-year-old Sagal, who celebrated his win on Tuesday night with friends and supporters at Flintridge Proper, said he was looking forward to serving on the board.

He also praised the other winners and current board members.

“I think it's going to be a very strong board,” he said. “It's a good day for the schools of La Cañada.”

Puglia, 51, celebrated with family and friends at her home on Tuesday night with chili and corn bread. She said everyone was very supportive.

“They were ecstatic for me,” she said. “My daughter said to me, ‘Mom we know you’re going to do a great job.’”

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