City Council candidates to tackle tough issues in forum at Flintridge Prep
La Cañada voters interested in the race for three open City Council seats in the March 3 election will have an opportunity to hear from and question candidates in a forum the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Flintridge Preparatory School.
Sponsored by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council, the forum begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Organizer Joanne Crispin said audience members are encouraged to interact with candidates in a Q&A segment.
“When you come, we hand out cards, and people can write questions that evening for the candidates,” Crispin said. “If people want to know how the candidates feel about different issues, this is where they go.”
Flintridge Prep Headmaster Peter Bachmann will moderate the event, which will allow candidates to deliver opening and closing remarks. Panelists will take questions penned by organizers and attendees.
Incumbent candidate La Cañada City Councilwoman Terry Walker is expected to participate alongside challengers Public Works and Traffic Commission Chair Keith Eich and former city Planning Commissioner Rick Gunter.
Mayor Len Pieroni announced last month he was temporarily suspending campaign activities after experiencing a health issue that required his attention.
Pieroni’s campaign manager, La Cañada Mayor Pro Tem Greg Brown, confirmed Monday the mayor is still recovering but would not attend Wednesday’s event.
“He’s not planning on participating in the forum,” said Brown. “He just feels it’s a little too soon.”
As Pieroni’s name will still appear on the March election ballot, a contest among four candidates for three open seats means there is a race.
In 2015, with only three candidates vying for three seats — Walker, Pieroni and Councilman Mike Davitt — the election was canceled, and no forum was held.
Coordinating Council President Becky Gelhaar said the event provides a unique opportunity for the public to see candidates interact with one another and compare ideas, priorities and platforms.
“We think it’s very important for the public to be able to ask questions and for the candidates to know what the concerns are in the community — it goes both ways,” she said.
FYI: The City Council candidates forum, sponsored by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council, takes place Wednesday, Feb. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Flintridge Preparatory School’s Norris Auditorium, 4543 Crown Ave, La Cañada Flintridge.