Sharing 2021 Thoughts and Best Wishes for 2022
First off, Happy New Year! May 2022 bring you joy and prosperity. We are the community that cares and may we live up to these words.
It is my greatest honor serving our community and I look forward to yet another year as president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council and continuing my tenure as councilmember into 2022. While the Council is a private organization, its members serve a public purpose, which is recognized by the 5th District of the County Board of Supervisors.
Congratulations to our newly seated councilmembers: Elizabeth Ahlers, Dede Mueller, Frida Baghdassarian, Ted Yu, Teri Madsen and Paul Barnes. The six candidates ran for three regular and three alternate positions. Each voter was allowed to vote for up to three candidates. There were 480 votes cast from 262 voters. Voters appeared to come in a steady stream throughout the time that polls were open. In addition, there were 49 instances where a name not included on the ballot was instead written on the ballot by the voter (a “write-in vote”). This is not included in the above total. Elected to three-year terms as regular members are Elizabeth Ahlers, who received 27% of the vote followed by Dede Mueller (19%), and Frida Baghdassarian (17%). Elected to one-year terms as alternate members are Ted Yu, who received 16.6% of the vote, followed by Teri Madsen (12%) and Paul Barnes (9%).
While the pandemic raged on in 2021, the Council enjoyed several successes. We were able to continue, once again, giving away scholarships thanks to our fundraising efforts and the generosity of the 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger. We continued to serve as a forum for the community on matters of great import to the community, including whether trails should be built abutting private homes’ backyards [in easements] that had never been intended to be public. The concerns of the community were aired and, while everyone can support the idea of trails, the expectation of privacy in one’s backyard must be accounted for.
As a former councilmember outlined last month, “We achieved many capital improvements, such as installing bike lanes, landscaping medians, overseeing a bus stop survey, upgrading street and intersection crosswalks at local schools and fixing potholes that were long-standing common issues. We also worked to plan future projects to accommodate our community’s growth and quality of life. Examples of these projects include expanding the Class II bike lanes throughout the community, installing electric charging stations at public/private facilities, guiding the sound walls project along the 210 Freeway corridor as it enters the design phase, overseeing the Foothill Boulevard Complete Streets Planning Study, resurfacing La Crescenta-Montrose pavements, implementing pedestrian improvements and water capture dry wells, as well as a updating the Safe Routes to School plan (this was accomplished not by one individual’s effort, but through the team efforts of the entire Council).
I must share I disagree wholeheartedly with the assessment by my esteemed former colleague regarding inherent problems stemming from councilmembers’ conduct and the alleged lack of transparency by the Council. Just because someone’s agenda is not fulfilled it doesn’t mean there is a “bogeyman” behind every bush or rampant conspiracies. The lack of a popular mandate is typically the reason, not the Council acting as an alleged “gatekeeper” having any claim to “control the facts,” real or imagined. As Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”
2022 is already shaping up to be a busy year for the Council as the Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks and Recreations delivers a presentation on the proposed Eagle Canyon Channel Trail, which includes a multi-use trail beginning at the NE intersection of La Crescenta Avenue and El Caminito along the flood control channel connecting to Two Strike Park, on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 4011 La Crescenta Ave. This is currently planned as an in-person meeting with all safety protocols enforced. With omicron spreading rapidly, stay well and safe.
The next general meeting of the CV Town Council is Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. Los Angeles County Public Works is planning a presentation on an upcoming pavement resurfacing project along La Crescenta Avenue, Orange Avenue, Prospect Avenue, Ocean View Boulevard, Mira Vista Avenue and Montrose Avenue within the unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose community.
For those who have an interest in attending and participating in our virtual meetings and want to submit comments and/or questions, we encourage you to please contact CVTC at email@example.com.
With all best wishes for the new year.
Harry Leon, President
Crescenta Valley Town Council