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ELECTIONS ARCADIA : 2 Council Veterans Take on 2 Newcomers

March 19, 1992|FRANKI V. RANSOM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Two former Arcadia City Council members will try to regain their positions in April 14 elections for two seats being vacated because of the city's term limit.

The former council members, Dennis A. Lojeski and Robert G. Margett, face challenges by political newcomers Patrick A. Gibson and James E. Brewer.

Mayor Charles Gilb and Councilwoman Mary B. Young are both relinquishing their seats after serving the maximum two consecutive four-year terms allowed by the City Charter.

Gilb, 66, a Los Angeles produce distributor, is ending his 16th year on the council. He is the only council member appointed mayor four times. First elected in 1974, Gilb was required to sit out the term from 1982 to 1984.

In the race for city clerk, Lisa Kim Tomchuk is challenging incumbent City Clerk June D. Alford in an attempt to become the city's first Asian-American elected official.

The council race has remained cordial, with the two former council members campaigning on their experience and the newcomers running on their qualifications and expressing a need for change.

"I believe it's time for some new faces and new ideas on the (council)" said Gibson, 45, a first-time candidate.

Gibson, vice president of Kaku Associates Inc., a transportation, traffic and urban planning consulting firm in Santa Monica, said he has 23 years of experience in municipal affairs. From 1969 to 1992, Gibson worked with more than 275 cities nationwide on transportation systems and urban growth.

He has a bachelor's degree in engineering science from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and a master's in civil engineering from Northwestern University.

Another novice, Brewer, 64, is a retired president of the now-defunct National Card Mat and Board Co. in Industry, where he acquired experience in financial planning, budgeting and accounting. He also has an agricultural engineering degree from Purdue University.

"Now, in retirement, I have the time and energy to give to our City Council," he said.

Lojeski, 48, said he is running for a council seat again after a two-year absence because "I have a proven track record toward my commitment to maintain Arcadia as an outstanding and safe community."

The Arcadia dentist served on the council from 1982 until 1990, including a one-year mayoral stint in 1983. A plan is needed to renovate or replace facilities such as City Hall, the library and the police and fire stations, Lojeski said.

Margett, 62, also is a former mayor who served on the council from 1976 to 1980. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from UC Berkeley and owns a private engineering contracting business.

He said the city needs stronger building design review guidelines to protect neighbors' rights and discourage inappropriate architecture.

Alford, who has served as city clerk for four years, said she has the experience and expertise to manage the office. In addition, she worked on the previous city clerk's staff for 4 1/2 years.

Tomchuk, a 45-year-old business administrator for Nexes Computer Systems in Temple City, said she has more than 20 years of experience as an administrator in several federal government agencies.

But Tomchuk, who is half Korean, said she isn't stressing her ethnic background because most Asians aren't registered to vote.

According to the Census Bureau, Arcadia has 48,290 residents, including 11,322 Asians.

Out of 23,932 registered voters in Arcadia, about 300 are Chinese, said Teresa Hsu, president of the Arcadia Chinese Assn.

"Sometimes they think they're foreigners who don't belong to this society," she said. "They don't know the candidates and they don't care who wins."

Hsu said the association has begun a voter registration drive in preparation for future efforts to elect an Asian to council, possibly in 1994. Letters were sent out to members urging them to register to vote. The appeal was also printed in the group's newsletter which is sent to 2,500 families.

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