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Two seats open on water board

Voters will have the opportunity to let the Crescenta Valley Water District’s Water Board know whether they are happy with current elected officials or if they want a fresh viewpoint in the stream. Elections for the Crescenta Valley Water Board are Tuesday, Nov. 6.

This year, two directors positions — that of board president Kathy Ross and director Judy Tejeda — are up for grabs. Both women are hoping to retain their positions, but La Crescenta’s 2002 Man of the Year, Clair Rawlins is hoping to claim one for his own.

Voters will be asked to mark their ballot for one of the three and the two candidates with the most votes will win the open seats.

The five-member Water Board governs the Crescenta Valley Water District. Registered voters within the district elect members (known as directors) at-large. Each director serves a four-year term, which is staggered between two directors and three directors and commences in odd-year elections, according to the Water District’s website.

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Current Water Board directors are: Ross, board president; Richard Atwater; Tejeda; Yasken Yaremian; and Charles Beatty, who was appointed to the board last month to replace retiring Water Board director Ernie Weber.

All of this year’s candidates are well known in the community.

Ross is a civil engineer and the mom of three children. She and her husband Larry have lived in the Crescenta Valley since 1982 and own a collectibles toy store, Blast From the Past, in Burbank. She’s active in her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Crescenta. Ross earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis in sewage treatment, from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn. She was appointed to the Crescenta Valley Water District board of directors in May 2002 and re-elected in Nov. 2002. She has been elected board president for the last three years.

Ross said she hopes to be re-elected because she loves the educational aspect of the position, as well as being a part of water conservation.

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“I really love what the district does,” she said. “I love learning about where water comes from and what we have to do to get it to our homes, that taps into the civil engineering part of my brain. As a mother, I also want to make sure we have enough water at home. Being on the board allows me to be active in educating others and learning more for myself,” Ross added.

Tejeda is a longtime La Crescenta resident and helped found the Crescenta Valley Town Council, to which she was elected twice prior to her election as a director on the Water Board. She also served one-year as Water Board president. Tejeda earned a bachelor of science degree, with a major in accounting from UCLA and a master’s degree in school administration from CSUN. She has taught for more than 30 years at Verdugo Hills High School and Mount Gleason Middle School. She has four children, Lynda, Ken, Steve and Susan. She is co-founder of R&R; Masonry, a commercial building corporation. She is a past PTA president, and currently a volunteer with the Monte Vista PTA and the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA. Tejeda also previously was on the Community Drug Prevention Committee of La Crescenta.

“I think I’ve provided a lot of leadership on the district and I want to continue that. I’m in favor of setting rates that are as low as possible and I’d like to continue that,” Tejeda said of her reason for running for re-election to the Water Board. “I got on the board because of the high rates, and I want to keep the rates as low as possible,” she added. “I am fiscally conservative, I think it’s my accounting background.”

High water rates also are why candidate Rawlins said he tossed his cap in the water board election pool. Rawlins said he’s tired of what he considers exorbitant water rates. And, he’s tired of the water board running unopposed because of lack of voter information. “I just want people to know what’s going on,” he said. “I have a great ability to evaluate accounting and see where we could be doing better. I want to get and keep rates down.”

Rawlins has lived in La Crescenta and the Glendale area since 1941. He has been married to wife, Ann for 43 years.

The couple has six children, ranging in age from 29 to 42. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1965 with a bachelor of science degree in business, with an emphasis in accounting and economics.

He was a past PTA president at Crescenta Valley High School and served on the PTA council for about four years and has helped the district with goals and accreditation at the high school. He also was presented with the Burton E. Taylor honorary service award in 1997. And, he’s been a volunteer timer for the CIF Southern California Cross Country Federation for about 26 years and is involved in volunteer work through his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Crescenta.

Rawlins credits past Water Board director, Brent Anderson, with doing “a phenomenal job of keeping Crescenta water rates down.” Anderson died a few years ago, Rawlins said.

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“Brent kept the board solvent and running right. I feel I can fill his shoes.”



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