By Brandon HENSLEY
After four years as president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council, Cheryl Davis gave her last address to council and audience members at the year-end meeting Dec. 19. After receiving a standing ovation and a bouquet of flowers, it was time to step down.
“I need to cut back a little, and four years is a long time,” Davis said after the meeting, while attendees made their way to the rear of the room to the table loaded with holiday treats. She cited work and family reasons for not running for president again, and expressed a desire to be available for her daughter next year as she explores college options as a high school senior.
Officers elected on Thursday night were longtime councilmember Robbyn Battles who will take over as president entering next year, winning the seat in a 5-4 vote over Charles Beatty. The other officer positions were filled during the meeting as well. Davis will remain on council as corresponding secretary, Harry Leon will be vice president, Danette Erickson will be treasurer and Mike Claessens will be recording secretary.
Elections for the council were held in November and, aside from Davis and Leon winning seats, incumbent Dr. Young Suh will return, with Leslie Dickson (incumbent), Kyle Studebaker and Krista Smiley serving as alternates.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich made a brief appearance to swear in the officers, and then he and the rest of council said goodbye to councilmember Marti Marshall, who leaves after one year of service. Marshall received a certification of appreciation from Antonovich.
After the meeting, Battles joked she thought about pulling her name out of the race for president at the last minute, but then said it was time for her to take this step and implement new ideas.
“I wanted to take the things Cheryl’s done, but I wanted to move toward big-picture things,” she said.
Those “big-picture things” include addressing the issue of big rigs that take up parking spots around town and frustrate residents. It was one of the main topics of conversation for council this year, and Battles said the county board of supervisors will potentially resolve the issue in January by voting to outlaw any parking anywhere by big rigs within the unincorporated part of La Crescenta.
Battles also feels council would do well to pursue a better relationship with the La Cañada community.
“We could join forces across the entire boulevard,” she said. “[La Cañada] is working on sound walls because of the freeway noises. We should be working on sound walls. It’s a huge thing that’s going to take a lot of time.”
She said improvements could also be made to the Community Standard Design board, or CSD, to make clearer what is expected when commercial buildings go up.
“Maybe we need more support from [county] planning to inform new businesses about what’s expected of them so we’re not spending time chasing people who have a banner up for 30 days,” she said. “People have more important things to do.”
Whatever goals Battles hopes to accomplish, she said she’ll try and adopt what made Davis a popular president to fit her style.
“She is a very calming force,” Battles said of Davis. “She gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinion … she really sits back and listens and that’s what I watched her do this year.”
Davis’ most prideful moment of her tenure is the creation and opening of the Crescenta Valley Dog Park at CV Park.
“I ran for town council to get the dog park,” she said. “That took six and half years. I’m especially proud that it’s the first dog park in all of L.A. County, and now other communities can get one.”
While Davis will still be on council, she seemed relieved to relinquish her duties, although she said she’s happy with how relations in the community have improved during her time.
“We get along really well with all of the community groups,” she said, “and I don’t think that was the case 10 years ago … I’ll still make sure that happens, and Robbyn will do a good job.”
The next council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 16 in the La Crescenta Library Community Room, 2809 Foothill Blvd., at 7 p.m.