Leftovers Column

Tired of hearing about Chu and Cedillo yet? Well, they probably be in the news for awhile.

Here’s the latest Leftovers from City Hall column:

One week after Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu officially kicked off her Congressional campaign in El Monte, Sen. Gil Cedillo traveled out of his Los Angeles Senate district to announce his own campaign.

Where? In El Monte.

Cedillo may not have as strong a backing in the San Gabriel Valley as Chu, but coming to the heart of the district can’t hurt.

Especially when candidates are still throwing their names in the hat for this heated race. Last week, Republican Jim Hertzel, a Certified Public Accountant from West Covina, announced he, too, would be running.

According to a press release he sent out, Hertzel’s motivation is “fueled by years of feeling that politicians must be held accountable to the views of the community and provide viable solutions.”

Hertzel – who has never held an elected seat – also noted in his press release that he is married to a Philippine immigrant with two adult children.

He’ll face off with Cedillo, Chu, Republican Theresa Hernandez, Emanuel Pleitez and Baldwin Park Unified School Board Member Blanca Rubio. Former assemblyman and newly elected Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water Board Member Ed Chavez apparently hasn’t made up his mind yet.


Officials are estimating voter turnout in local elections last week averaged around 18 percent.

That’s not even close to the nearly 55 voter percent turnout during the presidential election, but it was enough to shake things up and force a few incumbents out of office.
In Rosemead, incumbents John Tran and John Nu ez were ousted. Returning to office is Maggie Clark. She’ll be joined by Steven Ly, 24, and Sandra Armenta, 36.

Tran and Nu ez each served only one term, and spent the past four years on a majority that encouraged mixed-use development, brought in a new City Hall administration and allocated money for public information, a city Web site and improving parks.

With potentially a new voting block running the show, it is unclear whether the new regime will choose to preserve some – if any – of the previous council’s programs, projects and even employees.

Also seeing a shift in the council majority is Monterey Park. There, David Lau returns to office without his colleague, two-term councilwoman Sharon Martinez. Martinez’s seat will now be filled by former councilwoman Betty Tom Chu.

With the new council line-up, it appears Tom Chu, Councilman Mitchell Ing and Mayor Frank Venti will lead, while Lau and councilman Anthony Wong will be the odd men out.

Finally, in Covina – where voters chose to keep Kevin Stapleton and John King on the dais – a shift in the council isn’t likely. But the return of former Mayor Bob Low has some people wondering how the dynamic at meetings will change.

Low was elected to serve a seat vacated by former Councilwoman Meline Juarez, who chose not to run again and left her term early because she moved out of state.

Low served on the council from 1978 to 1990, and since then has been a regular critic at council meetings.



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