At Tuesday's Altadena Town Council meeting, nine of the 10 candidates running for office got up and spoke about their reason for running.
Current Town Council incumbent Doug Colliflower was absent from the meeting and did not speak, and C.R. Legal Sr., who filed to run, was declared ineligible by the Town Council Tuesday night after not providing proper documentation proving himself an Altadena resident.
The elections are being held on June 7 and June 11. The Town Council is an independent group that serves as an intermediary between the Altadena public and the elected county government, and each of Altadena's eight census tracts elects two candidates.
In this election, there are two seats being contested, and six where only one candidate is running. For more information on the election and the candidates, including their statements, our story is . For those who want to know what census tract they reside in, you can find out by entering your address here or consulting the map attached to this story.
Below is a summary of what each candidate said about her candidacy at the meeting, broken down by census tract. First are the contested races, than the ones with just one candidate:
Tract 4602, Rebecca Haussling: Haussling, who works for Pasadena Magazine, moved to Altadena in 2008. She described herself as coming from a volunteer-oriented family and said her motivation for running is a concern that there is a disconnect between the Town Council and Altadena residents. She said she'd like to improve the Town Council's website and work on communicating better with residents. She also said she believes her neighborhood, centered around the intersection of Raymond and Marathon, has been changing rapidly with new, younger families moving in. She said that traffic and speeding are concerns for many of them, and that she believes that Marathon needs more signage or speed bumps to help slow drivers down.
Tract 4602, Greg Middleton - Middleton, an Altadena Patch columnist, is an incumbent on the council. He spoke about inheriting the position after the resignation of former council member Herbert Simmons. Middleton has not been elected to the position. He said that he initially felt reluctant to take the position and generally does not like politics, but now feels as if he is getting comfortable with the issues and believes he can be effective as a council member going forward. He said that he agrees with Haussling that the council needs more effective communication with the public. He also added that he only wants to serve as long as people think he is doing an effective job, and would otherwise be happy to "sit down" and let Haussling take the job.
Tract 4610, Gail Casburn - Casburn, a teacher at Baldwin Park High School, described herself as a 22 year Altadena resident. She and her husband own the . She described her majority priorities as having a stronger Town Council voice in Pasadena Unified School District affairs. She said she'd like to see better test scores and more community involvement in the district, and noted that she has heard a lot of concern over the board's decision to . Casburn also said she wants to work on rebuilding trails that were destroyed by the Station Fire, and would like to organize student working parties to accomplish that.
Tract 4610, Brent Musson - Musson described himself as a construction consultant, and noted he serves on the Town Council's Land Use Committee as well as an advisory committee to the Altadena Sheriff's Station. Musson is involved in the efforts to , and he said Tuesday he wants to prioritize instituting green building codes that would make Altadena a stand-out as a city with up-to-date energy efficient buildings. He said his other top priority would be dealing with a problem liquor store at the corner of Lincoln and Figueroa and helping to improve the Lincoln Corridor in general. He said he values the preservation of existing homes in Altadena, describing himself as a "proponent of rehab rather than removal and mansionization."
4601, Gretchen Seager –Seager described herself as a long-time Pasadena resident who moved to Altadena six years ago. She has daughters of age 12 and 14 who attend . She is a Realtor at Sotheby's and said she is "excited to be part of the community in a deeper and more meaningful way.
4603.02, Ken Roberts – Roberts has been on the Town Council for two and a half years and served on the PUSD consolidation committee that made recommendations on which schools to close down. Roberts described himself as an eight year resident of Altadena. He described Altadena as having a "unique, eclectic, positive environment."
Tract 4611, Amy Cienfuegos – Cienfuegos noted that she is currently on the Town Council's Land Use Committee and a board member at . She said she is also active in her neighborhood watch. She said she grew up in a small town in Michigan and being close with her neighbors in Altadena reminds her of that community. She said she has learned a lot about the issues in Altadena and wants to serve her community.
Tract 4612, Jaime Bissner- Bissner, an bent, said he'd like to focus his next term on taking care of some of the "blighted properties" in town. He said he has served several times on the Council over the last 15 years. He urged voters to show up and participate even in contests with only one candidate because the Board of Supervisors looks at turnout in the election as an indicator of how invested the community is in the Town Council.
Tract 4613, Lori Judson – Judson, the incumbent, said she has lived in Altadena for36 years, and lives in a historic home called the Fair Oaks Ranch House. Used frequently for filming. She represents the far southeast tract in Altadena a part where, as she noted, some people don’t realize they live in Altadena because they have a Pasadena zip code. Judson is a Cal State L.A professor in nursing with a Ph.D from the University of California, San Diego. She also is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and the chief nurse of a combat support hospotal. She noted that she has been on the Town Council for over 10 years, held three offices, been recording secretary, corresponding secretary, and vice chair. She has always run unopposed. She said she believes the Council is important despite not having the power to rule on issues or make law because the county takes the Council's views on issues very seriously.