PASADENA — The race for four seats on the city's Board of Directors got off to fast start during the first week of the campaign as 12 candidates picked up the necessary papers to run for four-year terms on the city's governing body.
The filing period for the part-time, $50-per-meeting positions began Dec. 26 and will close on Jan. 9, when candidates are required to return various papers to make their candidacies official.
All four incumbents whose seats are open plan to seek reelection in the March nonpartisan election. They have been joined by eight challengers, and the field is expected to grow.
The most crowded field so far, with five candidates, is the race in District 6, which covers the southwest corner of the city.
That seat is now held by William Cathey, an attorney who was appointed Dec. 8 to fill the seat vacated by William Bogaard, who had resigned a month earlier because of increasing demands of his job as vice president and general counsel for First Interstate Bancorp.
Cathey was appointed by the board over five other candidates in a secret vote that critics said may have violated the state's open meeting law.
Board members later revealed their votes, saying they regretted the furor that surrounded the vote.
Cathey, a 39-year-old corporate lawyer with the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen, has served on several city committees and volunteer boards over the last seven years, including Friends of the Pasadena Library, the Development Mitigation Task Force and the Community Development Committee, which advises the city on redevelopment and economic development.
One of Cathey's main competitors for the appointment, and now in the election, is Kathryn Nack, who is director of finance for the Los Angeles engineering firm of Nack & Sunderland.
Nack also has served on several city boards and committees, including the Pasadena Centennial Coordinating Committee, the Planning Commission and the Redevelopment Agency Relocation Appeals Board.
She is a current member of the Board of Education and served as board president from 1984 to 1986.
The other candidates in the race so far are Robert A. Beggs, Nina Cash and Mark Williams. Beggs and Cash were also candidates for the appointment.
Beggs, 55, is president of Garretson Mortgage Co. in Pasadena and is making his first bid for public office.
Cash, a business consultant, is co-publisher of the Pasadena City Hall Observer, a newsletter that focuses on city politics, and formerly taught school.
She has lived in the city since 1972 and often attends city board and commission meetings.
Williams, a 36-year-old attorney with the Los Angeles firm of Breidenbach, Swainston, Crispo & Way, has taken out the necessary papers to run, but he said he is still undecided about mounting a campaign.
The race in District 4, which covers northeast Pasadena, so has far drawn three candidates: incumbent Jo Heckman, William H. Paparian and David Roger Headrick.
Heckman, a real estate agent, said she had been considering retiring from the board because of allegations last summer by Paparian that she had used her influence to try to ensure that a zoning permit would be granted to a client of her real estate company.
However, Heckman announced Friday that she would seek a third term on the board after being advised by counsel that she had violated no laws. The matter has been referred to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and is still under investigation.
Involvement of 20 Years
Heckman has been involved in city politics for more than 20 years and has served on the Board of Directors for the last 12 years.
Paparian, a 37-year-old Pasadena lawyer, has held no elective office, although he ran unsuccessfully in the June primary for a Pasadena Municipal Court judgeship. He has been an outspoken advocate for the city's Armenian community.
Headrick could not be reached for comment.
In District 2, which covers north-central Pasadena, incumbent Rick Cole will face challenges from Douglas Lee Combs and Billie Williams.
Cole, a free-lance journalist and public relations consultant, has been on the board since 1983.
Worked With Mayor
Williams, the co-owner of Berry & Sweeney Prescription Pharmacy on North Fair Oaks Avenue, was Mayor John C. Crowley's field representative from 1983 to 1984.
He was one of the founders of the Altadena chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People and is a member of Pasadena Work West, a northwest Pasadena business organization, and a citizens advisory committee on redevelopment in the Fair Oaks corridor.
Combs, a fund-raising administrator for Whittier College, has not run for office before, and he said he has not decided whether he will run.
In District 1, Mayor Crowley is the only announced candidate so far, but he said he expects others will file. The 1st District covers northwest Pasadena and is the largest of the city's six districts.
Crowley, a retired businessman, real estate developer and former city manager of Monterey Park, has served two four-year terms on the board and has been mayor since May.
School Board Seats
Two of the Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education's five seats also are up for election in March. The school district has 22,300 students and encompasses Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Altadena.
Incumbent Elbie J. Hickambottom is running unopposed so far for one seat.
Daniel Hurst, Arlene Moncrief, Roberta Moon and Robert C. Peckham have announced plans to run for the other seat, which is being vacated by Nack for her campaign for the Board of Directors.
The election will take place March 10. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast, there will be a runoff election on April 21 between the two highest vote-getters for each seat.