Candidate’s Blitz Wins Most Votes in Town Council Election

Times Staff Writer

A law enforcement officer who campaigned door-to-door was the top vote-getter in last week’s election to seat the first Town Council representing La Crescenta and Montrose.

Lt. Thomas M. Johnston, 50, a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for more than 29 years, was elected by more than two-thirds of the voters in his district.

Johnston said he and his campaign assistants--two government students from Crescenta Valley High School--delivered campaign brochures “to every residence within my tract.”

“Once I made up my mind to get into the election, I got in with both feet,” said Johnson, a 26-year resident of La Crescenta. He captured 273 of the 405 votes cast in his district.


Three residents and an alternate from each of the area’s three census tracts were elected last Thursday. There were 28 candidates for the 12 positions. The council will be the official voice of the unincorporated foothill community of 20,000, advising county officials on local issues.

A total of 1,157 residents voted, far more than council organizers said they had expected. Sharon Beauchamp, a co-founder of the group, said the large turnout should tell county officials that residents want a say in local affairs, even though the quasi-government board cannot enact or enforce laws.

Community activists had been working since last summer to form the council, not only to gain local representation but also to make sure that their little town at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains is not gobbled up through annexation by the adjoining cities of Glendale or La Canada Flintridge.

Council members will be installed tonight by County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who had suggested the council’s formation. The program will be at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Crescenta Valley High School, 4400 Ramsdell Ave.

The council will represent residents in an area generally bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard and north of Montrose and Honolulu avenues. The top two vote-getters in each district will serve two years, the third one year.

Winners and the number of votes they received are:

Tract 3001, north of Orange Avenue, 405 total votes: Thomas M. Johnston (273), Jillayne D. Larson (189), Judy Tejeda (160), William C. Bening, alternate (128).

Tract 3002, between Foothill Boulevard and Orange, 375 votes cast: Robert B. O’Neil (149), Margaret A. Klug (128), William Beavers (110), Joseph Grosch, alternate (91).

Tract 3005, south of Foothill to Montrose and Honolulu avenues, 377 votes cast: Daniel J. Rendler (198), Lawrence Don Hogue (140), Anthony P. Hurtado (129), Larry Lousen, alternate (123).