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ELECTIONS / GLENDALE CITY COUNCIL AND SCHOOL BOARD : A Changing of the Guard in Local Politics : Council: Rick Reyes and veteran campaigners Sheldon Baker and Mary Ann Plumley defeated a dozen challengers. They constitute a new majority.

April 08, 1993|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In one of the most hotly contested municipal races in recent years, a political newcomer and two seasoned campaigners emerged the victors Tuesday out of a sea of candidates vying for three open seats on the Glendale City Council.

Chosen to help mold the future of the third-largest city in Los Angeles County were Richard M. (Rick) Reyes, a retired police officer who succeeded in his first bid for elected office; Sheldon S. Baker, an attorney elected four times to the Board of Trustees of the Glendale Unified School District and Community College District, and Mary Ann Plumley, a real estate agent and Republican Party activist who tasted victory in her second campaign.

They replace three retiring council members--Mayor Carl Raggio, who served two four-year terms; Ginger Bremberg, a three-term veteran elected three times as mayor by fellow council members, and Dick Jutras, quitting after his first term.

The new council members will be sworn in during a City Hall ceremony at 8 p.m. Monday.

At least one of the three newcomers will be elected Tuesday by colleagues to one of three ceremonial posts--mayor, Redevelopment Agency chairman and Community Housing Authority chairman--that are rotated among the five council members.

For the first time in decades, newcomers will compose a majority on the council, joining Larry Zarian, serving his second term, and Eileen Givens, elected two years ago.

All five council members are expected to meet the public together for the first time tonight at a monthly forum sponsored by Zarian, where they will outline their plans and answer questions from the public.

Among key topics expected to be discussed are the city budget, which will have to be trimmed by more than $6 million because of expected further state cuts, growing concern over public safety issues and the stance of the new majority on newly adopted laws on hillside development.

The forum will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at City Hall, 613 E. Broadway.

In all, 16,868 ballots were cast in Tuesday's election out of 79,568 eligible voters, a turnout of 21.3%. It was only slightly higher than the 20.4% participation in the 1991 council election.

Officials had hoped for a turnout of 23% or more because of the large number of council candidates--15--and the significance of the election of a new council majority.

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Unlike past elections in which a slate of candidates campaigned together, this year's winners were considered widely independent. Only one political action group, the Glendale Police Officers Assn., endorsed all three winners.

Reyes, the top vote-getter, stressed during his campaign that "I have no special interest group outside of all of us who live and work here."

A 32-year resident, Reyes, 55, retired last year as city community relations coordinator. During his 26 years with the Glendale Police Department, Reyes initiated the popular School Resource Officer program in 1968 and worked on local campuses for 18 years to combat graffiti, gangs and school violence.

In his community relations role, held for five years, he served as a liaison between residents and businesses with city officials, including the mayor and city manager.

Baker, 56, a Los Angeles attorney specializing in taxes and business planning, finished second. He had served on the school board and as a college trustee from 1965 to 1981. Backed by a number of prominent business leaders, including former Mayor Jerold Milner, Baker is expected to emerge as the leading fund-raiser in the race when final campaign reports are filed.

Plumley, 62, has long been active in community groups and GOP politics. Plumley also had wide support from the business community, helping her to better her fourth-place finish in her first bid for the council in 1991.

The three handily beat two of the most vociferous advocates of homeowner rights.

Dave Weaver, president of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council who campaigned for a stringent hillside development ordinance, finished in fourth place. And Bob Yousefian, a board member of the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Assn. who was a leader in the battle to halt the construction of oversized houses, or so-called mansionization of neighborhoods, finished seventh.

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Three other campaigners from the 1991 council election, Bob Torres, Richard N. Matthews and John K. Beach, lost again, finishing fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively.

David E. Wallis Jr., a businessman and engineer and one of the leading campaign spenders--he poured more than $36,000 of his own funds into the election--finished in ninth place.

GLENDALE ELECTION RETURNS

City Council

(Three seats open)

65 of 65 Precincts Reporting

CANDIDATE VOTE % Richard M. Reyes 6,766 15.9 Sheldon S. Baker 5,729 13.5 Mary Ann Plumley 4,602 10.9 David G. Weaver 3,912 9.3 Bob Torres 3,075 7.3 Richard (Dick) Matthews 2,765 6.5 (Robert) Bob Yousefian 2,721 6.4 John K. Beach 2,565 6.1 David E. Wallis Jr. 2,474 5.8 John Krikorian 2,214 5.2 Gordon I. Yanz 2,085 4.9 Linda Benjamin 1,699 4.0 DeWitt Clinton 1,077 2.6 Stuart L. Lovi 476 1.1 Jerrol Le Baron 160 0.3

* City Clerk

65 of 65 Precincts Reporting

CANDIDATE VOTE % Aileen B. Boyle* 12,073 100.0

* City Treasurer

65 of 65 Precincts Reporting

CANDIDATE VOTE % Elizabeth W. (Betty) Evans* 12,007 100.0

* Denotes incumbent.

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