I'm Just Sayin': Community vote crucial to Town Council

The Crescenta Valley Town Council is holding their annual election on Nov. 6.

Ten candidates are vying this year for the six council seats available — three, three-year regular terms and three, one-year alternate terms.

The Town Council is an advisory body for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and their bylaws state: "The purpose of the council is to provide a forum, through a town meeting, to identify and discuss the issues of concern to the residents and businesses in the unincorporated areas of La Crescenta and Montrose…and to…work together with government bodies and agencies, as well as local agencies and organizations, to meet the needs of the community."

Having served on the Town Council for seven years through 2007, I know what the council can do and what they can't.

The council was instrumental in getting a new library for La Crescenta. I attended, along with other past council members, dozens of meetings with staff members from the Los Angeles County departments of libraries, public works and Antonovich's office throughout the entire process, from acquiring the land and funding, to design and construction.

The council worked to enact a Community Standards District to ensure that new multi-family buildings are designed to be compatible with the character of existing residential neighborhoods.

Because of the six-year long efforts of the council's Foothill Design Committee, which I co-chaired with Richard Toyon, we added building and design standards for new construction and remodeling along Foothill Boulevard to the existing standards district. This will help improve the appearance of our main commercial corridor.

The council's Land Use Committee also hosted many meetings to inform neighbors of upcoming developments in their neighborhoods and on Foothill Boulevard. In the last few years, the council has not been proactive in sharing this information, but hopefully next year's council will bring back this much-needed service.

With all the good things the council can do, it can't enact laws or ordinances. It has no governing authority. The county will only act upon council requests that have the support and consensus of the residents.

That's why it's important for the people of La Crescenta/Montrose to inform themselves about the candidates and to vote on Nov. 6. Without input and involvement from the community, the council can't be as effective as we need it to be.

The Town Council has posted the responses to two questions asked of the candidates on their website at http://www.thecvcouncil.com/2011candidates.html.

You also have two opportunities to hear from the candidates in person. First, the Town Council will have a candidate forum at their meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the La Crescenta Library. Second, the Crescenta Valley Community Assn. will host a candidate forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Dunsmore Park community room, 4700 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta.

SHARON RAGHAVACHARY is on the steering committee for Crescenta Valley Community Assn. and a member of the Family Advisory Council for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. She may be reached at sharonchary@gmail.com.

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