School Board Candidate Interview: Joe Walker

This is the last of three candidate interviews conducted by the Temple City Voice for the 2009 School Board election.

Walker is seeking a second term on the School Board.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published October 30, 2009

Former School Board president Joe Walker is seeking a second term.

“I’m a people-person,” says Walker. Walker often stays after school board meetings to individually address citizens. “I’m willing to listen.”

Walker faces off against two other candidates vying for one of two seats available in November.

What distinguishes Walker from his competition are his promotion of pro-employee policies and community involvement.

A sixteen-year Temple City resident, Walker is a crime analyst with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. His two children attend Temple City schools.

Walker, first elected in November 2005, has served a term as president, succeeding former Board Member Mukesh Luhar.

He moved to Temple City in 1993 and still claims Temple City “as a safe community, a safe area.” He adds, “These are good schools. I have never thought about leaving.”

His experience ranges from rallying community support to listening to concerned workers, parents and students. “It takes a while to learn what you’re doing,” Walker admits. “Half-way through my first term, I realized how the system worked.”

In accordance to his community involvement, Walker aims to ensure proper public representation.

“I opposed the bond in 2007 because the community did not support the bond,” he states. “The teachers weren’t against it, new school board members were not in support, superintendent was about to leave.” He intends to pass the next bond measure with support of the School Board, teachers’ union, employee groups, community, while guaranteeing the bond’s funding to be exhausted prudently and efficiently.

Walker will continue his pro-people policies, attempting to rehire dismissed individuals and restore diminished work hours. “Revenue has increased because of enrollment,” asserts Walker. The schools, currently understaffed, are expected to recover under his policies. He plans to fix media center libraries, currently operating at 60 percent efficiency.

Renovation of outdated, dangerous infrastructure will be implemented if re-elected. Oak Avenue Intermediate School and Temple City High School both suffer from obsolete technology and antiquated structures, but Walker stipulates refurbishment as a key campaign goal.

“I’m a big believer in our school district,” Walker says. “I’m always willing to speak up if something is wrong.”

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