Editor's note: This adds the names of the other candidates in the photo caption.
COSTA MESA — A popular after-school program, sports fields and quality of education were discussed Wednesday night at a candidate forum hosted by a local nonprofit.
Costa Mesa United invited candidates for the City Council and school board to share their plans for "academics, athletics and activities" at the Neighborhood Community Center. The panelists were Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis, Sports Editor Steve Virgen and Publisher Tom Johnson of the Newport Beach Independent.
Loretta Zimmerman, who is running for a school district seat in Area 5, stressed the need to keep students in this district.
Some parents here would rather send their children to private schools or schools in Huntington Beach, she said.
"Costa Mesa has a world-class shopping center, a world-class performing arts center, private and public golf courses, athletic facilities. It has areas with million-dollar homes, and it's the envy for many, many communities," said Zimmerman, who is challenging 30-year board member Judy Franco.