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Council Plans for Election Saturday

Posted by on Nov 3rd, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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Elections for Crescenta Valley Town Council are being held this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the La Crescenta Library Community Room at 2809 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta.
Only registered voters living in unincorporated county areas of La Crescenta and Montrose can vote and proof of identification is required.
There are six open seats and six candidates on the ballot with the top three vote-getters attaining full members status. The bottom three will be alternate members.
To better acquaint voters with the candidates, Crescenta Valley Weekly sent two questions to each. The following are the answers that were returned to us. Additional information on the candidates can be found at www.thecvcouncil.com.
Anyone who has questions regarding the election can contact CV Town Council president Cheryl Davis by email at cheryl@thecvcouncil.com or (818) 970-0976.

Former Councilmember Frank Beyt:
As a returning council member, what unfinished business or project would you like the Council to complete?
I want to broaden email coverage of the community. Communicating with the valley residents has always been a problem; increasing our coverage will allow more participation and interaction, building a more effective Council which is more responsive to those we serve.
A project I would like the Council to establish is formal tutoring for elementary school children. This effort would be a carefully monitored single location program, staffed by vetted volunteers from the community. Our community is filled with retired teachers and totally qualified people who could make a dramatic change in the lives of many struggling students. I understand this will not be a walk in the park to first establish and execute, but we can make a difference.

What do you feel is the biggest misunderstanding or challenge between the community and Council and what, if any, ideas do you have to solve this?
The community does not understand that the Council can directly address a range of issues. The Council website goes a long way in informing what is currently happening but also informs which committees are active.
The Council needs to publish an outline of its capabilities and do a better job of apprising residents of our abilities. I also think that some of the Council members themselves should have a better understanding and that the Council is more capable than they think.
We want the community to understand that some issues are established by County precedent or codes that are not changed for a specific complaint. Issues like speed bumps and building codes are two that come to mind.

Candidate Mike Claessens
As a new councilmember, what thing(s) would you like the Council to undertake or complete?
An earthquake along the San Andreas fault will cause tremendous damage to our homes, our community, its sewer system, the electrical grid and water and gas mains in its streets. Paul Dutton and CERT have prepared my family to survive the first 48 hours on our own – what then? Quartering us in the CV high school gym while barricading our neighborhoods with yellow tape is not a plan – it’s a reaction.
As a new councilmember, I will urge the CV Town Council to investigate; then help inform the community about what every level of our government is doing to prepare.

What do you feel is the biggest misunderstanding or challenge between the community and Council and what, if any, ideas do you have to solve this?
Most say the greatest misunderstanding folks have about the CV Town Council is that it has some autonomous or official authority or power to affect change in the community. In fact, the Council serves only in an advisory role for Supervisor Antonovich. Even so, it has significant influence when the Council accurately reflects and expresses the community’s views – and people in government understand this to be true.
As a new councilmember, I will urge the Council to expressly invite community organizations and government representatives to its meetings to work on the issues they identify as important.

Councilmember Danette Erickson
As a returning council member, what unfinished business or project would you like the Council to complete?
We have a new library, welcome signs and military banners but must constantly seek more ways to improve our community. We need to continue working to beautify Foothill Boulevard and remain diligent on billboard postings and paper racks. A sidewalk for the safety of walkers on La Crescenta adjacent to Lower Shields debris basin and new bushes have been requested. Complete the Community Standard District for R1 properties to better regulate mansionization. Promote having our own community’s Prayer Breakfast. Do more to keep our children away from drugs and control alcohol sales to minors.

What do you feel is the biggest misunderstanding or challenge between the community and Council and what, if any, ideas do you have to solve this?
The misunderstanding is “this is your council” as well as mine. Everyone is welcome at our monthly meeting and to run for council. We are not a city, have no tax base or funding source. We are volunteers who attend functions and meetings at our own expense. Our mission is to inform the community on issues via our website, the CV Weekly or passing out flyers. We need to communicate to other organizations and ethnicities by inviting them to our meetings, attend their meetings to introduce ourselves, or get together at our own prayer breakfast.

Current Second Alternate Odalis Suarez
As a returning council member, what unfinished business or project would you like the Council to complete?
Although there are quite a few unfinished projects that the town council should strive to complete, one in particular is the continuing beautification of Foothill Boulevard. The street is the main artery that leads drivers to the heart of our community and I feel that the town council should work to enhance this main street by adding center dividers filled with flowers, trees and other plant items. Working on this project will improve the character of La Crescenta and add to its already visually appealing atmosphere.

What do you feel is the biggest misunderstanding or challenge between the community and Council and what, if any, ideas do you have to solve this?
The town council can be viewed as the nucleus of our community. It is the center for the exchange of information as well as the promoter of action and involvement. Based on my experience, I have recognized that one of the biggest obstacles for the town council is igniting community participation.  Although the council is diligent in sending their e-blasts and effectively using their website to promote meetings, I think that the council needs to seek other tools in order to encourage participation by others.

Councilmember Robert Thomas
As a returning councilmember, what unfinished business or project would you like the Council to complete?
Help to reduce large development by incorporating the R1 zone into our Community Standards District (CSD). In my last CVTC election, I promised that I would make this issue a priority. The CVTC went to work by forming an R1 Exploratory Committee which I helped co-chair. The Committee asked our community to complete a short survey on the issue, and the survey results were submitted to Los Angeles County. The County has spent several months studying the issue, and how they can help. The County will present their solutions to the CVTC in early November, and then to our community early next year.
Were almost done – I kept my promise.

What do you feel is the biggest misunderstanding or challenge between the community and Council and what, if any, ideas do you have to solve this?
In the past, the CVTC has been admonished for not keeping the community well enough informed nor providing enough opportunities for community input regarding proposed new development. In response, and under the direct leadership of president Cheryl Davis, the duties of the CVTC Land Use Committee (LUC) have been expanded and improved upon to provide more information and more opportunities for community input. The LUC will now look at development projects in R1 zoning, and have monthly public meetings which will help keep our community up to date and informed. I have been a LUC co-chair for five years, and I fully support these new and exciting changes.

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