All candidates elected to Crescenta Valley Town Council amid low voter turnout

All six candidates joined the Crescenta Valley Town Council Saturday, with about 1.4% of the voting population casting a ballot.

Voter turnout tends to be low for the advisory board to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, with greater participation occurring when a controversial issue arises or more candidates run for the 12-member body, council members and candidates said.

“I wish we had more people running. I wish we had 10 or 14 candidates. I think that in itself would bring out a lot more people,” said Robbyn Battles, an incumbent who won reelection Saturday.

Since there were as many candidates as there were open seats, the only outcome to determine in the election was which role the winners would get on the council.

The three most popular candidates — Battles, Daniel Cheung and Mike Claessens — received three-year terms as voting members. The other three — Robert Thomas, Leslie Dickson and Marti Marshall — became alternates who stand in when one of the nine voting members are absent.

This year, 212 people — or about 1.4% of the nearly 15,000 who live in unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose who are 18 and older — voted, according to data provided by town council member Danette Erickson, who serves as chairwoman of the election and nominating committee.

[For the Record 3:40 p.m.: A previous version of this story included figures that had double-counted absentee ballots, slightly inflating the voter participation numbers.]

Although small, the turnout beat last year’s 157 voters, who also were deciding between six candidates for an equal number of positions, although there were more incumbents. But the 2012 election turnout fell far below the 659 voters in 2010, which featured 10 candidates.

“What we need are more concerned residents running to give voters a reason to come out to vote,” Erickson said in an email. “When we say all six candidates will get on either as full voting members or as alternate members, many feel it doesn't matter enough to get out and vote.”

The winners said they plan to focus on pedestrian safety, land use issues and increasing communication between other governmental agencies that serve La Crescenta.

-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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