Longtime civic activist Rose Norton, a leader of the successful 1984 fight against high-rise hotels, declared this week that she will be a candidate in the April 8 Beverly Hills City Council election.
Her last-minute filing, prompted by Mayor Edward I. Brown's decision not to run for a third term, means that six candidates will vie for two open seats on the council.
The contenders also include Annabelle Heiferman, the only incumbent running; Robert Tanenbaum, an attorney; Maxwell Hilary Salter, proprietor of a chain of clothing stores; M. Cynthia Rose, a former bank officer, and Eugene Quash, a securities broker.
Heiferman, running for her second term, said implementation of two-hour free parking in city lots was one of her major accomplishments.
She also cited the addition of 1,440 new parking spaces, an alley lighting program, the implementation of overnight parking permits for apartment neighborhoods and her support for increased funding for the city's troubled school system.
Although she supported Proposition F two years ago, which would have allowed the building of 600 hotel rooms in the city's business district, Heiferman said its defeat gave her a clear indication of popular sentiment.
"It told me one thing. The citizens do not want an increase in the height limit," she said. "The vote of the people must be upheld."
Heiferman said she expects to spend between $65,000 and $75,000 on the campaign, largely for advertising, printing and postage.
Norton said her qualifications include decades of service as a volunteer for charity organizations when she was "reading budgets, allocating money and making whoever gets the money accountable for the money."
She became involved in city affairs during a controversy over a proposed development in the city's industrial zone and became more active when her husband, Ben, served on the council from 1980-84, she said.
"I'm definitely resident-oriented and my main goal is to protect the residential community," Norton said.
Norton said she plans to limit her campaign spending to $25,000.
Tanenbaum, a former deputy district attorney in New York, said he became involved city issues through the YMCA, where a weekly basketball game led to his position as vice president and treasurer.
Like Norton, he defined himself as "resident-oriented."
"There's the perception that City Hall is too closely aligned to special developer interests," he said.
He said that excessive commercial development has led to congestion and parking problems on side streets. He also called for stronger height limits and setback requirements in residential neighborhoods.
Salter said he did not want to be pinned down on either side of the long-simmering controversy over the pace of development.
"If God had to choose a place to live he would choose Beverly Hills," he said. "We want to keep it lovely and beautiful, with matched trees, our wonderful police force and Fire Department and all the great stuff we provide for the seniors. But that costs money, and it's got to come from someplace."
He said he would try to keep his spending to $25,000.
The fifth candidate, M. Cynthia Rose, said she expects to spend no more than $500.
"I want to set an example to all the schoolchildren in town and show them that whether or not you have a spare $100,000 in the cookie jar, ideas and issues are what count," she said.
A former city administration employee in Phoenix, she said her experience in budget preparation would be useful on the council.
She said she would urge increased funding for the school system through measures such as transferring the schools' libraries to the city library system.
Quash, 28, said he hopes to represent the opinions of young people and senior citizens on the council. "I have no gripes against the incumbents, it's just that, generally, they're doing a poor job," he said.
On the development issue, he said that it was important to maintain the city's ambiance. "One of the things that makes Beverly Hills unique is that (residents) don't want it to change into another Century City or downtown."
He said he would try to hold his spending to a minimum and would rely on a door-to-door campaign to meet voters. He also said he would work for improved police protection.