Ed Heron, Fiscal Hawk

School Board Incumbent Running Again

Ed Heron has something that none of the other school board candidates ​— ​all profiled in previous Santa Barbara Independent articles ​— ​can boast: a record of service. The only incumbent running for one of three open seats, Heron is also the only current sitting Republican on the ostensibly nonpartisan body. His fiscal hawkishness is evident at meetings as he is typically the first person to ask questions about balance sheets and budgets, boasting in his campaign literature about the district’s positive financial certification.

Ed Heron
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Ed Heron

On the other hand, he sided with liberal boardmembers to issue a new charter for César Chávez Elementary School, now called Adelante. He broke with the more liberal trustees, however, when they argued against lowering the price tag of two parcel taxes that failed on the June ballot. Heron felt that lowering the amount of the taxes before putting them back on the ballot this fall would help to neutralize opposition. He does support the taxes, however.

A Santa Barbara lifer, Heron left for college and a short career buying up property in metropolitan Los Angeles so that Caltrans could build Southern California’s extensive highway system, returning, however, to take over his father’s real estate business. The company was bought by Prudential and eventually Coldwell Banker, Heron moving up the ranks in those national firms, all the while following in his father’s philanthropic footsteps by serving on area boards, commissions, and philanthropies, most recently as the president of Partners in Education. This service has gained him a bevy of bipartisan support.

Although he sharpened his tongue at a recent debate appearance, rebuking some of the positions staked out by opponent Lou Segal ​— ​the other candidate without the built-in advantage of being on the Democratic ticket ​— ​Heron says at all of his public appearances that his goal is and always has been to bring “dependability, trustworthiness, and civility” to the Board of Education.

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