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LAGUNA HILLS : Councilman Declines to Run for Reelection

With Councilman L. Allan Songstad Jr. declining to run for reelection, at least one newcomer will gain a seat on the City Council this fall.

Songstad said he never intended to run for a second council term and that he is not a “career politician.” That leaves space for at least one of the challengers, Cindy Greengold, Saeid Hariri, Grant R. Marcus or Charmane Riggs.

The newcomers also will try to unseat the two incumbents, R. Craig Scott and Randal J. Bressette. Scott, a 41-year-old attorney, and Bressette, a 41-year-old financial planner, said they hope to serve on the council again because council continuity would strengthen the community and keep the city financially secure.

Songstad, Scott and Bressette said they are proud of the city’s progress since its December, 1992, incorporation, especially in the areas of financial steadiness, expansion of parks and residents’ growing sense of their city as distinct.

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“The city is established and we have a great staff,” said Songstad, 48, an attorney. “It’s time for me to move on and someone else to move in.”

Of the challengers, Greengold, 41, a medical office administrator, has been a resident of Laguna Hills for 10 years and was involved with the city incorporation. She also has served on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the past two years and is co-chair of Taxpayers for Responsible Planning, the Laguna Hills group campaigning against the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station airport ballot initiative.

Greengold said she wants to see more police protection for the city’s parks and trails and more recreation opportunities.

Hariri, 39, a property manager, said his business experience in managing condominium complexes and apartment buildings would be useful in running the city. He said his campaign will focus on gaining library service for Laguna Hills and making sure that drugs, gangs and graffiti don’t infiltrate the city.

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Marcus, a 26-year-old real estate broker, said he hopes to increase residents’ participation in government if he is elected to the council. Along with the other candidates, his campaign will stress public safety.

The other challenger is Riggs, a homemaker who did not state her age on her filing papers. She said she wants the community to remain safe and to have more activities for youths.

Two of the new candidates, Greengold and Riggs, live in Nellie Gail Ranch. That has been the area of highest council involvement, with three of the current council members--Melody Carruth, Songstad and Scott also living there.


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