Ongoing local issues, such as traffic, public safety and education, have dominated a race for six open seats on the Crescenta Valley Town Council, according to the council’s election commissioner Aram Ordubegian.
Seven candidates are vying for three regular and three alternate posts, with election voting set from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.on Saturday at St. Lukes of the Mountains Episcopal Church, 2563 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta.
“It’s nice to see community members willing to volunteer and make a difference,” said Ordubegian, who sits on the all-volunteer council that advises L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger on various matters but does not have legislative power.
Prospective candidates — four incumbents and three newcomers — will briefly introduce themselves and answer questions during a town-hall-style meeting slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday at La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd, La Crescenta, Ordubegian said.
Election results should be in by Saturday evening, he added.
Below are brief introductions about the candidates. Statements were excerpted from a Crescenta Valley Town Council form asking candidates what they’d like the council to accomplish and how they would contribute, if elected:
Charles K. Beatty, retiree (incumbent)
“The Sagebrush issue should be resolved in favor of the citizens ... As the ‘senior’ member of the [council], I have participated in approximately 90% of the accomplishments of the Town Council ... I hope to give historical insight.”
Michael Claessens, retired attorney (incumbent)
“[I would like the council to] complete the Foothill medians, start the Two-Strike Park trail extension and parking median landscaping … [My goal would be implementing] responsible land use/planning and assuring that all Town Council business is conducted in public with adequate public notice that allows the community time to comment and advise the Town Council before any decisions are made.”
Sophal Ear, associate professor at Occidental College (incumbent)
“I’ve wondered why each of our schools operates its own foundation. The administrative costs are heavy. Why isn’t there a Crescenta Valley Educational Foundation raising money for our schools? I know there’s a Glendale Educational Foundation, but by prior agreement it does not raise money from parents — leaving space for each schools’ individual foundation. The Town Council can accomplish this … My goal is helping to maintain our sense of community while managing tremendous growth ... I’m not beholden to developers; I believe we should exercise power through the Town Council’s land-use committee in ways that make sense for our community: ensuring that what is built is manageable and sustainable.”
Carin Hoffman, Realtor (challenger)
“A more powerful online presence has the potential to include more community members and give people a voice in Town Council. By enlivening Facebook and updating the website, community members who cannot attend a Town Council meeting can still have their concerns addressed ... I want to see less trash and more recycling. I believe we need a senior outreach program to take better care of our older adults, and I want to bring more businesses to vacant spaces — businesses that are unique and bring people together.”
Donna Libra, Realtor (challenger)
“I would like to see the Town Council continue to beautify our community, especially along Foothill Boulevard, and expand their outreach to the community, building stronger relationships with other organizations. I would also like to … improve [the] website to make it more user-friendly, more informative, such as showing a calendar of monthly events … [I want to] work with the sheriff’s department to establish more community meetings to inform the community about crime and public safety. [And] establish a relationship with an outside organization … to help prevent drug abuse in our schools.”
Desiree P. Rabinov, transportation planning senior manager (incumbent)
“Continue to [enhance] and prioritize transportation services and projects for our community … There are opportunities through the public-hearing process to address linking northern parts of the Crescenta Valley as part of the Corridor Alternative Analysis phase by enhancing the connection with existing bus service or adding new service … I will continue to bring representatives from Metro to discuss funded programs that are happening in our or surrounding communities.”
Jeffrey R. Rodriguez, legal electronics records coordinator (challenger)
“We have a lot of road construction on Foothill Boulevard and 210 Freeway, and I’d [like] to see those complete with as little disturbance to the community as possible. Also, since this area is prone to fire disasters, I’d like the council to get the word out about what to do if this occurs and make improvements to the existing disaster plan if needed … While La Crescenta has been one of the safer communities to live in, over the last couple of years, crime has gone up, particularly property crimes such as car break-ins and home burglaries. I’d like to see more involvement with a Neighborhood Watch group.”