In 10 years CVW has seen government officials come and go but there was one official who left an indelible impression on our community – Los Angeles Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
By Charly SHELTON
There are more than two million residents in the Fifth District of Los Angeles County. The district covers all or part of the Crescenta, San Gabriel, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys and, for 36 years, one man supervised them all: Michael D. Antonovich. Yet, despite the 2,000 square miles of his district, he always managed to feel accessible and local to Crescenta Valley residents.
“While I wasn’t the [CVTC] president during the Station Fire, I was during the ensuing mud debris flows and the windstorm,” said Cheryl Davis, former president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council and the resident behind the creation of the dog park. “Antonovich and his staff were always in close contact with the Town Council regarding mud debris forecasts, the unified command post, the protective K-rails, the status of debris basin clean-out and enlargement projects. A member of the Town Council was on the [supervisors’] panel after the big windstorm. Communication is key and Supervisor Antonovich and his staff were instrumental in empowering our residents to effectively communicate with his office, which is why our residents have such a strong sense of community and involvement. Our voices and concerns were heard and the supervisor’s office was always quick to respond and help as they are our representation at the local, county and state levels.”
But Antonovich’s real legacy, Davis said, is his creation of and continued support of the 27 town councils that help his office stay in touch with his district.
“The Fifth District is the largest district geographically and he created town councils to help the residents of the unincorporated LA County communities have a voice and means to communicate with his office and work with his field deputies,” Davis said. “The Crescenta Valley Town Council has been instrumental over the last 28 years to provide a monthly forum for residents and businesses to voice their concerns in order for the community and residents to work with the supervisor’s offices on under-grounding the utilities along Foothill Boulevard, getting a moratorium on billboards on Foothill, [implementing] the La Crescenta-Montrose Community Standards District, [installing] the Briggs/Mountain Avenue stop sign, lighted crosswalks at Los Amigos/Rosemont (for Rosemont Middle School) and Foothill/Glenwood, the new La Crescenta Library, the first LA County Dog Park, a ban on overnight big rig parking, and a change to the county code to get crossing guards for middle schools.”
Antonovich left office Dec. 6, 2017 after being termed out. His successor, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, has continued the leadership style founded by Antonovich.
Reflecting back on 36 years as supervisor of the Fifth District of LA County, Antonovich said, “It was a very productive and meaningful experience because it allowed me to focus on issues and problems. For example, the grant for the Woman’s Club. There was a need and we were able to meet that need. The under-grounding of the high wires on Foothill was a need and we were able to accomplish that along with the skate park, the dog park, the little pocket park we had done above Rosemont [Crescenta Commons] and the one on Foothill next to the market, Pickens Canyon Park. Those are all programs that we were able to implement which came from the community and their desires, and we were able to work with the community and do it.
“Instead of like some politicians who just talk, we achieved because we worked with the community in implementing their ideas to improve their quality of life, which benefits everyone.”