By Jason KUROSU
Elections for the Crescenta Valley Town Council took place on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the La Crescenta Library where volunteers were on duty throughout the day to guide voters and collect ballots. Members of the community flocked to select which of their fellow residents they felt was most capable of and dedicated to voicing the concerns and key issues of La Crescenta.
Throughout the day, 659 ballots were cast with a total number of 1303 votes counted. The strong turnout indicated growing interest in community issues and a sign of residents more and more wanting their hand in the improvements made to their town.
Chairman of town council elections, Danette Erickson, has seen highs and lows in community interest since the Town Council was founded in 1989, with turnouts as low in previous years as a paltry 34 ballots turned in. This year has been much better represented.
“We’ve seen an open interest this year, with young and older voters showing up and representation from every ethnicity,” Erickson said.
When all was said and done, three candidates were voted in as three-year members (Cheryl Davis, Harry Leon, and Dr. Young Seok Suh) and three candidates were voted in as alternates (Charles K. Beatty, Odalis Suarez and Charly Shelton). The principle of volunteerism and community efforts that the Town Council is based on, and is clearly represented by the volunteers and students that worked the polling place on November 6th, shows in the candidates’ goals as council members.
Ideas for improvement to community sites and ideas for addressing education and drug problems are among some of the more common issues noted, but also an increase in communication between La Crescenta residents and the council stands out as an issue of importance, increasing the proactive involvement of citizens to better their own community. It should also not be overlooked that the council members themselves are unpaid volunteers, some of which started getting involved by attending and viewing town council meetings, before deciding to actually join the council.
It is this sort of involvement that the town council hopes to further, not only within the council members themselves, but also throughout the community.