By Mary O’KEEFE
With only four candidates applied thus far to run for six available seats on the Crescenta Valley Town Council, members urge the community to step up and run.
The CVTC consists of nine regular members and three alternates. Regular members are elected to a three-year term, alternates serve a one year term. The council members are staggered so that each year three regular and three alternates are up for election. Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of the unincorporated area of La Crescenta or Montrose for at least one year prior to running for the council. Applications are due by midnight on Oct. 17.
“I love being on the town council,” said CVTC president Cheryl Davis. “I have learned so much.”
The council works as liaison between Los Angeles County officials, like L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and L.A. County Public Works Department.
Davis said traversing County waters can be difficult and many times residents are unsure of which office to contact.
One example of how the council works to help residents have their voice heard is at Waltonia Avenue. The area of Park Place and Waltonia Avenue had issues with traffic, specifically drivers either driving under the influence or just speeding down the street and through the neighborhood.
“At first residents were contacting the Crescenta Valley Sheriffs but California Highway Patrol handles traffic in that area,” Davis said.
Residents did contact CHP along with other agencies but each time found it to be a two-step forward, three steps back type of exercise. Then they contacted councilmember Steve Goldsworthy who is on the public safety committee for the council. He brought the County offices together including CHP, sheriffs and public works. A few months ago the Waltonia residents were presented with a plan to slow and hopefully control traffic in their neighborhood, which included a crosswalk and more street lights.
“That was a great feeling to do something to help those residents. They had been struggling with [traffic issues] for a long time,” Davis said.
The council has also been a guiding force for the other traffic safety issues like installing a four-way stop sign on Briggs and Mountain avenues even though a traffic study said there was no need. The signs helped reduce congestion and made it safer for students to walk to Mountain Elementary School. A crosswalk and sidewalks have been installed at Monte Vista Elementary so students no longer have to walk into the street as they walk to school. And a right turning light and left turning lane and signal light at the corner of La Crescenta and Prospect avenues as a safety measure for La Crescenta Elementary and Crescenta Valley High School.
In addition to traffic issues the council has been involved with the proposed CV Dog Park and sponsors the Arbor Day celebration.
“Our members were also part of the task force with the library committee,” Davis added.
The committee shared their ideas on the design of the La Crescenta Library.
CVTC works with several organizations including Girl and Boy Scouts troops and awards scholarships to CVHS students.
Dannette Erickson has been on the council for a total of about 14 years and has seen how the council’s influence has grown.
“This is our united voice as the community to our supervisor,” Erickson said.
Erickson and Davis said the council is lucky to have a strong working relationship with Antonovich.
“We had great communication with his office during our winter rains and mudslides,” Davis said.
Erickson added that Antonovich set up the unincorporated councils to be a link to the community.
The council was formed in 1989 by residents who reported at the time, they did not have specific concerns but of general issues that have no boundaries like traffic, crime and development. That same philosophy carries through to today’s council as they face issues that come with a growing community near a metropolitan area.
Davis encourages residents to run for office. The time required of a councilmember depends on the person’s passions, she said. A member can be part of several committees like working with seniors or public safety concerns, or they can join one that they feel passionate about, Davis added.
“We would really like to see more people apply to run for [councilmember]. It is your community. Perhaps [in the future] we will be looking at the residential codes. That will affect all neighborhoods,” Erickson said.
The application process is in progress. The deadline for applications is midnight Oct. 17 but Erickson advised candidates not to wait to the last minute.
“We will be having all the candidates at Farmers Market on Oct. 17 to introduce them to the community so if they want to be there they have to sign up,” Erickson added.
To get an application go to the council’s website at www.thecvcouncil.com The election for town council is Nov. 6 and will be held at the La Crescenta Library at the corner of La Crescenta Avenue and Foothill Boulevard.