LA CRESCENTA — Nine residents are vying to fill the vacancy on the Crescenta Valley Water District Board of Directors left by Richard Atwater, who resigned after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office ruled that his simultaneous seat on another water board represented a potential conflict of interest.
The pool of candidates is three more than the six-member field in the last election to fill three seats.
Atwater, who was reelected to the Crescenta Valley board in November, resigned last month after the district attorney’s office, acting on an anonymous complaint, determined that his concurrent service on the Foothill Municipal Water District Board of Directors was in violation of state law.
Now, just months after the most competitive race in years for three available spots on the district’s board of directors, nine residents submitted applications to fill Atwater’s spot.
“Considering it’s so closely following an election, I was surprised we got as many applications as we did,” said Christy Scott, a program specialist with the district.
The four remaining board members are slated to discuss the vacancy at tonight’s board meeting, and are tentatively scheduled to interview the nine applicants next week, Scott said.
The appointee would hold the position until the next district general election, which is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2011.
Former board President Vasken Yardemian and former director Charles Beatty — who lost their seats in November to challengers Kerry Erickson and James Bodnar — submitted applications to return to the board.
Other applicants include Glendale Water & Power senior engineer Raja Takidin and former Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce President Howard Hakes.
Bodnar said he would consider community viewpoints expressed during November’s election and applicant qualifications when making his decision.
“The board will have a difficult time replacing the knowledge and education that we have lost,” he said.
On Monday, Beatty said he or Yardemian are the most qualified because they have previous board experience and took part in November’s election.
“If they wanted to be on the board they should have run in November like the six of us did,” he said.
Yardemian also said he was surprised to hear of the high number of applicants, but hoped he could add to the eight years he already served on the board.
“If there is a chance again for me to serve, I would do it again,” he said.
Takidin said the water supply issues facing the district motivated him to enter his name for consideration.
“I wanted to basically be of service, to help the community during this difficult time with the shortage,” he said. “I thought with my experience and my education, I can contribute to finding a solution that will help solve the water shortage and increase the local water resources.”
Get in touch MELANIE HICKEN covers City Hall. She may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at melanie.hicken@latimes. com.