Finance likely big election topic

Money, topic 'A' on the state and federal government scene, is likely to be a major issue in the upcoming city general election, filing for which opens this week.

By various counts, eight or more challengers may test the campaign skills of the three council incumbents seeking re-election, Bob Yousefian, Ara Najarian and Frank Quintero.

Yousefian positioned himself early on as a fiscal critic by voting against the current city budget, though his colleagues have pointed out privately that he supported most of the budget components in earlier discussions.

The council trimmed $8 million from the budget in the spring deliberations, and will soon be faced with the necessity of making further cuts of at least that amount and perhaps more.

Six council critics are apparently in the race, including Bruce Philpott, Lenore Solis, Michael Teahan, Chahe Keuroghelian, Vartan Gharpetian and Laura Friedman.

Philpott, former Pasadena police chief, has been lobbying for big cuts in the fire department. Friedman, chair of one of the city's design review boards, is likely to focus on development issues. Teahan is president of the Adams Hill Homeowners Association, and Solis is a former city commissioner and a frequent gadfly.

Gharpetian, a founder of a property owners group which has battled the city, was passed over by the council for reappointment to a design review board. Keuroghelian is a former police department civilian employee and has run twice before for the council.

The three incumbents have raised more than $40,000 each for the campaign, and Keuroghelian has reported a similar figure. Teehan, who is limiting campaign contributions, reported $200 in the bank.

For the school board, the three incumbents are running as an unofficial slate, including president Jolene Wagner, past president Greg Kerkorian and veteran board member Chuck Sambar. They are faced with opposition from former assistant principal Eric Sahakian and PTA official Christine Walters.


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