Crescenta Valley Town Council members have more responsibilities than –they ensure that foothill community has a group of eyes and ears.
With six slots open for the , six locals are stepping up to represent the area.
Montrose Patch listened to these community members during the town council candidate forum on Thursday:
Charles Beatty, Retiree
With about 60 years living in the Crescenta Valley, incumbent Charles Beatty is running for re-election on the CV Town Council as well as the Crescenta Valley Water District Board director in the Nov. 8 special election. Beatty believes the group has brought the community together with diversity on the council to include the large number of Armenian and Korean-American people.
He is a retiree with about 30 years of community service and would like to establish a program that offers seniors general contractors, roofers or area workers committed to keeping prices low for elderly.
Odalis Suarez, Attorney
Incumbent Odalis Suarez has lived in the Crescenta Valley area for more than 18 years. Suarez is a real estate broker and Glendale attorney and has a daughter who attended . She serves on the land use committee as co-chair and subcommittee with the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition. Her community involvement history includes Civil Service Commissioner for Glendale, member of Design Review Board for Glendale and board member for the Glendale Unified School District Bond Advisory Board. She is also a representative on the 710 Freeway committee.
Suarez would like to see more speakers from Los Angeles County and more advanced notice for upcoming development and zoning changes.
Mike Claessens, Litigator
Mike Claessens has lived in La Crescenta for nearly 25 years, where he raised two children through the Glendale Unified School District system. He is former chief litigator for the city of Los Angeles and now works in a small law firm with several colleagues.
“I have time to give back to the community, and that’s what I’d like to do,” Claessens said.
The first-time candidate is concerned about “the Big One” and wants people to be prepared for a large scale earthquake, know what to expect from police, fire officials and how to respond to emergencies. He blogs about this on his website, CV Neighborhoods First.
He’d like to make public safety information available on the CV Town Council website in the event of an earthquake or disaster. Claessens would like the and sponsor better traffic control around local schools.
Danette Erickson, Volunteer
Incumbent Danette Erickson is a Chicago native who designed computer systems for IBM and worked at . Many of her computer designs are now in the basement of museums, Erickson said. The former PTA president for and lobbied Congressman David Dreier to seek $2 million to build La Crescenta Library. She’s also involved with the Glendale Assistance League, and various other organizations.
Erickson would like to hold an annual CV Town Council prayer breakfast at Holy Redeemer hall with different cultural organizations and community members.
Frank Beyt, Retired Community Member
Frank Beyt has lived in Montrose for about 40 years and has two kids who were educated in Glendale schools. Beyt served four years on CV Town Council and pancake breakfast coordinator.
He would like to see a tutoring program staffed by community volunteers who support an elementary school specifically. Beyt would also like to bring more locals to the meetings, possibly by luring them with pizza or starting early.
Beyt wants to the council to develop an official process for logging, investigating and responding to citizen complaints.
Robert Thomas, Real Estate Agent
Robert Thomas has served on the CV Town Council for seven years and would like to represent the community for another term.
“I love La Crescenta, I’m raising my children here,” Thomas said. “I’ve invested my whole life here.”
Thomas was born in Glendale, works on Foothill Boulevard and lives in the foothills, which he calls a bedroom community where people often work somewhere else and come home to enjoy the mountains after work.
He has worked to establish community design standards to resolve issues with commercial or residential zones and would like to continue this process.
How to vote
You can vote for up to three candidates, and each candidate will be members of the 2012 town council, told Patch. The candidate with the highest number of votes will fill the first elected position. The candidate with the second highest number of votes will fill the next elected position.
Three regular members of the council will be elected to serve a term of three years, three alternative members will serve for one year, Davis said.
Election day is Saturday, Nov. 5, at from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The council needs volunteers that day and invites anyone to help out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locals can vote absentee by filing out the absentee form (attached to this post).