Voters to Zamora: `You’re needed’

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA FE SPRINGS – She did not campaign, received no major endorsements and even dropped out of the election.Re-elected Little Lake City School District board member Hilda Zamora’s voice cracked with emotion Wednesday morning after she learned she received the second-most votes in Tuesday’s election.“It’s wonderful how the people have responded,” Zamora said. “My son called at 6 a.m. and said, `Mom, guess what? You came in second place.’ I started crying, turned around and did my prayers to the Lord.”Zamora came in second behind challenger Gina Almanza-Ramirez, despite the fact that Zamora dropped out of the race in October, citing health reasons.So what is her next move?Zamora said she will not announce until next week whether she will serve on the board. However, on Wednesday, she hinted she likely will accept the will of the voters.Diagnosed with diabetes and ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, Zamora found herself struggling to meet the demands of her office over the summer, after she had already filed for re-election.Her condition causes debilitating pain, Zamora said, making it difficult for her to meet all school board obligations.She also is the primary caregiver of her 27-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, she said.“I have so many commitments – open houses, events, meetings. I have to appear to so many things and it’s impossible,” Zamora said. “I’m the type that, if I’m committed, I’ll give my all.”Although Zamora said she likely will not be able to attend every meeting and school-related function, she said she plans to do her best.“If a parent calls me and there’s a need, or something we need to do in a school, I’ll redirect them. I’ll tell them to first talk to the teacher or principal about their problem,” she said. “We have two school board meetings per month to attend, and that will be no problem for me.”Matthew Spies, business services coordinator for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, said that public school board members, under the law, cannot miss meetings and other duties of office for more than three months without permission from their board colleagues.“If the board decides it’s justifiable that the person can miss meetings and is capable of resuming their duties” they can remain in office, he said.Zamora’s next step will be to take the oath of office before the first Friday in December, when her new term begins.Zamora said Wednesday if her health problems make her unable to fulfill her duties, she will step down.For now, however, she is savoring an unexpected political victory.“I think the people have spoken. Even without campaigning, I was elected,” said Zamora. “I left it to the Lord’s hands. His message is there telling me, `You’re needed.”‘ [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026last_img
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