By Jason KUROSU
Robbyn Battles passed the torch ending her two-year stint as Crescenta Valley Town Council president and, looking back on the council’s accomplishments, said there’s much to be proud of.
The past two years have seen $1 million in county funds secured for medians on Foothill Boulevard, the completion of the Crescenta Commons and attention to numerous ongoing issues that have fallen under the council’s purview concerning the Crescenta Valley and its surrounding communities.
Battles said that working with Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office to finalize plans for a mile-long median planned to stretch from Pennsylvania Avenue to Briggs Avenue was a high point of her time as president. The median project is representative of the efforts of town councils both past and present that have long advocated for the “beautification” of Foothill Boulevard as a means of attracting customers for local businesses.
Battles will continue her contributions to the median project as co-chair.
“I know past Council members have seen this issue come and go, so to me, it was such a victory to finally see the funding secured and the project moving forward,” she said.
Battles added she is also proud of the council for expanding its focus to include issues affecting communities outside of the area. Some of these include issues with direct impacts on the Crescenta Valley, such as the 710 tunnel project and the Sagebrush territory transfer between Glendale and La Cañada’s school districts. But others such as the state’s High Speed Rail project, which has drawn ire from communities like Shadow Hills and Lakeview Terrace, have also been addressed at council meetings.
As Battles put it, “We should not ignore or exclude these communities simply because they do not fall within the delineation of La Crescenta/Montrose unincorporated.”
Battles also credited the council for persistence in seeing certain community interests through.
“Our Council acted as a team and was always very supportive of one another,” she said.
Whether it was securing the funds for the median project or ensuring that the park near Mountain View Elementary School remained within GUSD territory, she is content that the town council “was supportive in backing what was important to our community.”
She will move on to focus on her work in real estate and her family, as well as volunteering and working with senior citizens and on local homelessness.
Though she will still work with the council regarding the median project and assisting with the county’s Parks Needs Assessment, she said she feels that the council will be in good hands, with particular kudos to her successor Leslie Dickson and Vice President Harry Leon.
“This new Council is going to be very busy and they have some superb new members,” she said. “They will do a great job I have no doubt.”
Dickson officially stepped in as president last week. Dickson previously served as the council’s recording secretary.
Dickson said she would focus first and foremost on the L.A. County Parks Needs Assessment, which will gather public input on the community’s parks and open space needs, discussions that Dickson hopes will lead to projects like the recent Crescenta Valley skate park and dog park that opened within the last few years.
“We need more parks in our area,” Dickson said, noting that local children do not always have available open space for extracurricular sports or activities, particularly with a lack of adequate lighting at some local facilities.
A Parks Needs Assessment meeting regarding La Crescenta will be held on Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. at the Sparr Heights Community Center, 1613 Glencoe Way, Glendale 91208.
“I’m really excited for the coming year, the new faces and fresh blood,” Dickson said. “We have a diverse group on the council that really are representing the community.”