ELECTIONS / 5TH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT : Antonovich Could Face a Runoff

TIMES STAFF WRITER

None of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's six opponents in the June 2 election has emerged as a big-name threat to the three-term incumbent. However, some political consultants believe the number of challengers may be enough to force the well-funded Antonovich into a runoff.

Here is a look at the candidates and some of the issues in the 5th District race:

* Antonovich, 52, of Glendale, has been a county supervisor for 12 years, since he unseated incumbent Baxter Ward.

The district was reapportioned last year, cutting away most of the San Fernando Valley and adding new sections of the eastern San Gabriel Valley.

Antonovich lists as accomplishments the rebuilding of Olive View Medical Center, destroyed in the Sylmar earthquake, and his initiation of such programs as traffic signal synchronization and scholarships for student nurses.

If reelected, Antonovich said, he would lobby the state for worker's compensation reform rules and look into ways to scale back air quality regulations to improve the business environment. He favors a monorail transportation system.

* Shereef Aref, 27, a Fairfax High School graduate who received a medical degree in Egypt. When he returned to Los Angeles in 1990, he said he was shocked by the change for the worse. Last summer he began working for the California Environmental Protection Agency.

He said the county Regional Planning Department should be combined with the county's environmental health division to ensure that planning decisions account for impacts on the environment. Aref, a Burbank resident, also said he wants to address inequities in the health care system.

* Margalo Ashley-Ferrand, 47, is a New York native who received a law degree at 36. She came to Glendale in 1984 and practices family, bankruptcy and consumer law.

Involved in other people's campaigns for years, Ashley-Ferrand decided to launch her own after Antonovich responded to one of Supervisor Gloria Molina's suggestions concerning budget adjustments with an allusion to her having "a hot flash."

She said development, particularly in the far-flung areas of the county, should be done in small-town configurations with all the amenities of a town, including a main street, schools, businesses and child care. This would cut down on commuting, she said, and make the areas more livable.

* Craig Freis, 47, has moved at least eight times since 1985, and now lives in the back of his Glendale bookstore. That transiency improves his ability to relate to all the people of the county, he said.

Freis has a real estate license, but he said most of his income comes from the bookstore and from his 900 number that provides tax reduction information.

Freis supports severe ethics reforms. He said supervisors should not only be barred from receiving campaign contributions but should receive no pay because "public office is something people ought to do just because it's the right thing to do."

* Jim Mihalka, 33, of Glendora, has made two previous unsuccessful bids for a supervisorial seat. He said the county should force the federal government to pay for health care. As a city paramedic stationed in South Los Angeles, he said he is appalled when patients have to "wait on gurneys in hallways for an hour or more."

He also said medical bills for patients injured in crimes should be billed to the criminals when they are arrested.

* William Paparian, 43, went to Van Nuys High School and received a theater arts degree from Cal State Northridge. He later went to law school and in 1980 began practicing personal injury law in Pasadena.

Paparian beat a three-term incumbent for a seat on the Pasadena City Council in 1987 and has been outspoken in that post, even suing his own city when he believed it had violated public meeting laws. He said he would not be afraid to take the same approach as a county supervisor.

Paparian said he would like to see the county hire an environmental coordinator who would help all departments with programs such as more aggressive recycling, water conservation and reforestation.

* Lynne Plambeck, 41, grew up in the San Fernando Valley and moved to Santa Clarita in 1976 in search of cleaner air and better schools for her stepson.

"It's changed," she said. "There's no more clean air and the schools are overcrowded."

She owns a film business in Burbank, which was started by her grandfather, and has been deeply involved in the region's slow-growth movement and in environmental groups.

Instead of expanding existing trash dumps, Plambeck believes the county should turn its attention toward an aggressive recycling and waste reduction program.

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