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What's in a Name? Just Ask the Board, uh, Council : Pasadena: Directors OK title change but proposal to limit terms is rejected.

April 04, 1991|VICKI TORRES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PASADENA — The Pasadena Board of Directors on Tuesday dumped its decades-old name for the more mundane, yet practical, appellation "Pasadena City Council."

"I've always felt that it's an awkward description," said City Director William Paparian of the board's old name. "It's a holdover from another era."

A majority of the other seven board members--uh, make that council members--agreed, saying the name caused confusion.

People thought he was the city manager, Director Rick Cole said. The Southern California Assn. of Governments took her for a city employee and wouldn't let her vote at a recent meeting, Director Kathryn Nack said. Director Chris Holden confessed that he already calls himself a city councilman.

The name change will take effect, unofficially, on letterheads, some city documents and during meetings on May 7, the day after 12-year Director John Crowley leaves office.

"I want to be the last director," Crowley said.

City Atty. Victor Kaleta said the City Charter allows the city's governing body to unofficially call itself either the Board of Directors or the City Council. To make it official, the board decided to put a proposed Charter amendment before voters on the November, 1992, ballot.

Crowley voted against submitting it to a vote. He also voted against the unofficial name change, along with Directors Nack and William Thomson.

Paparian proposed the change and three more significant, ones. But the board turned down his proposal for a two-term limitation and for a reduction to one year of the current two-year rotating mayoral stint. Members reached no decision on his suggestion to ratify board travel expenses in public but will continue that discussion at another meeting.

Paparian had suggested the two-term limit as a way of encouraging more people to run for office. He wanted the idea submitted to a citywide vote.

But Mayor Jess Hughston said he felt that a vote should be prompted by an initiative petition and not by one city director. Most of the board members said the measure by itself would not increase participation. Cole labeled it a fad and Crowley called the idea simplistic.

"To be very honest with you, I don't think very many people want this job anyway," Holden added. "You'd be getting rid of good people (incumbents) to replace them with who?"

Nack said board members need at least two four-year terms to build relationships with state and local politicians to lobby effectively in Pasadena's interests. Likewise, board members said the mayor needs the extra year to be effective.

As for travel expenses, Hughston, who currently oversees $42,000 allocated this year for board travel, accused Paparian of mistrust. "I've never known of a City Council member to ask for an inappropriate expense," Hughston said.

Thomson said the discussion revealed not a lack of trust, but a lack of understanding. He asked that it be continued later.

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