The 1991 Glendale City Council campaign got off to an early start Tuesday when Eileen Hadley Givens, a resident with a long record of community service and a low political profile, became the first candidate.
Two seats are at stake in the April 2 election, but City Clerk Aileen Boyle said candidates cannot file their nomination papers until January. Nevertheless, Givens kicked off her campaign with a press conference outside City Hall, introducing her family and the two prominent business leaders who will co-chair her campaign.
"Why keep it a secret?" Givens said. "I want to have plenty of time for the people of Glendale to get to know me better."
The candidate acknowledged that she was not highly visible in Glendale during the past two years because of her responsibilities as president of the 26,000-member California division of the American Assn. of University Women.
But she said, "That doesn't mean I've lost track of what's going on in Glendale."
Although it is more than five months away, the spring election is gaining wide community interest because of uncertainty over the plans of incumbent Councilmen Larry Zarian and Jerold F. Milner.
Zarian said he will announce within two weeks whether he will seek reelection. Milner, who was out of town this week, has not said whether he will run again. Zarian and Milner are both completing their second four-year terms on the council.
In 1989, incumbent John F. Day's decision not to seek another term led to Glendale's most widely contested campaign in four decades, as 13 candidates competed for three seats. Many of the challengers criticized the city leaders for allowing excessive development, which resulted in traffic jams and crowded schools.
Voters returned incumbents Ginger Bremberg and Carl W. Raggio to office, along with businessman Richard Jutras, a former planning commissioner and past-president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
As she touched off the 1991 campaign, Givens also appeared to have the backing of some mainstream Glendale interests. Her campaign is being co-chaired by Mary Hamilton, a downtown businesswoman who just finished a term as president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and John Hedlund, a printing company president who served two terms on the Glendale Board of Education.
Givens' campaign treasurer is accountant James D. Cashion, who serves on the Glendale Parking Commission.
Givens said she has support from other civic leaders but she said she has not obtained their consent to make the endorsements public. She declined to criticize any of the current elected officials.
"I'm not campaigning against anyone," she said.
"In the last campaign, I was disturbed to see many candidates running on negative platforms, saying what's wrong with Glendale. My platform will be based on what's good about Glendale."
The candidate said the pace of development remains the major issue. She said she favors "controlled, managed growth" but presented no specific strategies regarding development.
Givens' community service has included eight years on the Glendale Civil Service Commission and stints on the board of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, the Glendale Family YMCA, the Glendale Education Foundation and the League of Women Voters of Glendale-Burbank.
She also served on Glendale Unified School District advisory committees and on the Glendale City Charter Revision Committee.
Givens has lived in Glendale since 1969. Her grandfather was governor of Oregon and served as U.S. secretary of the Interior under President Dwight Eisenhower.