Former Mayor Rob Hammond to Run for School Board

Hammond, who stepped down as mayor in 2009, will be running for an open school board seat being vacated by Clare Chesley.

Former Monrovia Mayor Rob Hammond is jumping back into the city's political fray by running for an open school board seat, he told Patch Friday.

School board member Clare Chesley , and Hammond said he intends to run for her seat when ballots are cast on Nov. 8. Board President Ed Gililland and member Bryan Wong are also up for reelection then.

Hammond retired from the council in 2009 to pursue his degree in organizational management from an online university, and he said Friday that he wants to put his academic training to use on the board.

"It's another way to be able to work toward making the community a better place," Hammond said.

Hammond, who owns and operates the in , said he'd like to bring a business-oriented perspective to the board. If elected, Hammond said he would conduct focus groups at schools and in the community to study why parents choose to send their kids to MUSD schools or elsewhere.

"It's about providing that quality customer service," Hammond said. "I want to find out if people are receiving the service that they think they should be getting."

Hammond was first elected to the City Council in 1997 and won his first mayoral bid in 2003. He was reelected in 2005 and 2007.

Rog L. August 25, 2011 at 09:55 PM
We don't, and I don't think we are the only family that feels that way. But what else can we do. We'll stay involved and help push the change for the better, supplement our children's education to fill in the gaps and hope for the same for the rest of the community.
Tom Adams August 25, 2011 at 10:05 PM
I am confused now. You said you feel the level of service is not what it should be and Rob said he wants to raise it. I remember when Rob felt that music was lacking in our schools, he went out and raised $25,000 ($5,000 of his own money) for the Strings Program. I think if you look into it you both probably want the same thing yet you say "what can we do". I think we can all agree to stay involved and try our best to back fill the void in our schools left by the Sacramento mess.
Rog L. August 25, 2011 at 10:17 PM
My comment towards Rob was not an indication of whether or not I feel he is a worthy candidate. I thought he missed the mark a little bit by saying he wants to focus on customer service. I am a business minded individual who knows that no amount of customer service can make up for a low quality product. My son is in first grade and, as I mentioned before, my comments are based on what we personally have experienced. I was not aware of a strings program at Monroe specifically. The bottom line is that the burden falls on the parents. Ultimately, it is only up to us to make what we can better as a result of our elected leaders failing our children. If Rob is the best candidate I'll vote for him. Sounds like you've already got your mind made up. I appreciate your involvement though and look forward to learning more from these discussions.
Erin Thorn August 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Rog, I was on a GATE parent committee that this board, including Bryan Wong, got started about 7 years ago. At that time they only did an after school enrichment program, that many students did not even attend. It was the parents, not just those on the committee but all GATE parents who answered the poll we distributed, who overwhelmingly wanted to switch from just the after school to the Between the Bells program. Monroe always struggled, even when the resources were there, to find a teacher who wanted to take that program on year after year. The majority of Monroe parents at that time were the only ones out of all the schools polled who thought Astrocamp was too much money to spend on only 5th grade GATE students and put it at the bottom of priorities of how they thought the GATE money should be spent. Trust me, you would be even more unhappy with the way things were done when there was no Between the Bells program.
Rog L. August 25, 2011 at 10:34 PM
I applaud your involvement and do realize that things, as bleak as they may seem, will eventually get better. It's my faith in the involved parents and this community that makes me believe that. I think there is a certain element of complacency with some parents but the goal is to be involved and active and maybe some of them will come along for the ride.


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