Five New Council Members, One Returning to CV Town Council

Elections were held on Friday and Saturday at Sadler Hall at St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church.
Photo by Robin GOLDSWORTHY

By Justin HAGER

The Crescenta Valley Town Council (CVTC) held its elections over the weekend for six vacant seats on its board. The CVTC provides advice to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – Fifth District and serves as a platform for Crescenta Valley residents living in the local unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County to voice their concerns and interests.

Of the approximately 15,000 eligible adult voters who live in unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, fewer than 300 people cast ballots. Each eligible voter was allowed to cast votes for up to three candidates, resulting in a total of 529 votes recorded, according to Elections Committee Chair Chris Kilpatrick. Of those 529 votes, only 480 were counted as they were for candidates who appeared on the ballot. Ballots with write-in candidates were not counted because there are no provisions for write-in candidates in the Council bylaws. The 480 votes counted are similar to the 478 votes counted in the 2019 election, the organization’s last pre-pandemic election.

Elizabeth Ahlers was the top vote-getter, garnering support from 27% of the voters. Dede Mueller and Frida Baghdassarian earned the remaining two “regular member” seats, earning 19% and 17% of the vote respectively. Baghdassarian just barely edged out Ted Yu, the current third alternate and only incumbent on the ballot, who will now serve as the first alternate after receiving 16.6% of the vote. The remaining alternate seats will be filled by Teri Madsen, who will serve as the second alternate after receiving 12% of the vote, and Paul Barnes, who will serve as the third alternate after receiving 9% of the vote. Regular members serve a three-year term while alternate members serve a one-year term.

The disqualification of write-in ballots was contentious because of a campaign by outgoing Council First Alternate Johnny Brookbank, who was disqualified from appearing on the ballot after being censured earlier this year for violations of the Council’s bylaws. Brookbank ran a write-in campaign that garnered 46 votes, or 8.7% of the total votes cast, which, depending upon the exact number of votes cast for Paul Barnes, may have been sufficient to defeat Barnes had Brookbank been deemed eligible. Others receiving write-in votes included Jesus Arbil (two votes) and Carin Hoffman (one vote).

The Town Council has canceled its December meeting in recognition of the holiday season and will seat the new members at its January meeting. Community members who are interested in participating in the CVTC’s virtual meetings or committees are encouraged to contact the CVTC at