Piece of Mind: It's time for you to participate

Is La Cañada Flintridge City Hall user-friendly enough to suit you? Do you feel your local concerns are dismissed, or are they addressed and resolved?
Have you given some thought about what steps might be taken to improve the quality of life in our community, or do you think things are running smoothly and that civic affairs in general are on a good course?
I ask these questions today because in a little more than four weeks we will have an election for three open seats on the LCF City Council and I believe every voter should sit up and take notice — not because I have any particular gripe about the way our city government is run, but because a participatory citizenship is the only way to go.
And since three votes are all it takes to pass motions on the five-member panel, you’ll want to make sure that at least three of the council members share your points of view.
How do you find out whether a particular candidate will represent your interests well? You engage yourself and learn about all seven individuals whose names are on the March 8 ballot.
If you haven’t been attending meetings at City Hall and become acquainted with some of the players, do your research now. Read news articles and interviews (we’ll soon be running candidate profiles in the Valley Sun and will also post them online), ask pertinent questions of any candidates who might happen to knock on your door to introduce themselves, attend coffees given by the various campaigns and, by all means, try to get to the candidates’ forum that is scheduled for next Wednesday evening.
If you are prone to counting such things, you’ll notice that in this week’s offerings we mention the City Council Candidates’ Forum taking place at Flintridge Prep on Feb. 9 at least four times: in this column, in our “Around & About” calendar of events, in the news brief section we call “Quick Hits” and in Anita Brenner’s “Around Town” column. Some might think that’s overkill, but we just wanted to make sure that at least one reference to the event would catch your eye.
Despite that publicity, all too often there are empty seats in the auditorium for our local election forums. If you don’t count the candidates’ family members, the press or  members of the sponsoring groups — the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council and the Kiwanis Clubs of La Cañada (morning and noon club), not a lot of the general citizenry shows up at these events. And that’s a shame, because there’s no better time to compare the seven candidates and what they have to offer to the future of La Cañada Flintridge.
To the event’s sponsors: Thank you very much for your efforts to shine a light on the council race via this forum. To voters: Please take advantage of this opportunity to form an opinion about which three candidates you’ll vote for to effect change, if you think it is needed, or to maintain the status quo.
If you have not registered to vote but are eligible to do so, you have until Feb. 22 to accomplish that task. Be a full participant, not just a casual observer.
CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. E-mail her at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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