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Activist Kayser to Challenge Woo for Council Seat

May 12, 1988|RICHARD SIMON | Times Staff Writer

Bennett Kayser, outgoing president of the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Assns., said last week that he will challenge Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Woo in the April, 1989, election in the 13th District, which includes most of Studio City and part of Sherman Oaks.

Kayser, a homeowner activist in the Echo Park-Silver Lake part of the district, ran unsuccessfully for the seat in the 1985 primary, finishing fifth in a field of six candidates with about 1% of the vote. Woo, running as a slow-growth advocate, defeated Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson in the runoff election.

Since then, Kayser said, he has become better known through his activities with the federation, a coalition of 47 homeowner groups from the Santa Monica Mountains stretching from Mount Washington to Woodland Hills. He formally announced his candidacy after his term as president of the federation expired last Wednesday.

"I've just been very frustrated with Mike Woo's performance," Kayser said in an interview. "He's been just as much a representative of the developers as Peggy Stevenson.

"He is allowing for too much development in Hollywood," he added.

Woo's Response

Woo said in response: "Mr. Kayser doesn't know what he is talking about." Woo said that although he has advocated more intense development of the blighted commercial core of Hollywood, he has sought to preserve single-family residential neighborhoods.

Kayser, 41, is a substitute teacher with the Los Angeles school district. He has been active in the Echo Park Renters and Homeowners Assn., the Silver Lake Residents Assn. and Save Hollywood--Our Town. He also is president of the Hollywood Highlands Democratic Club.

Next year will be Woo's first time on the ballot in the San Fernando Valley. A year after his 1985 election, the 13th District was redrawn by the council to extend across the Santa Monica Mountains and include most of Studio City and part of Sherman Oaks, areas previously represented by Councilman Joel Wachs.

This story appeared earlier in the Valley Edition.

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