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12th District Is a Study in Variety

Candidates for the Valley city council seek to mesh needs of NoHo arts area, masses of tenants and longtime homeowners.

October 31, 2002|Peter Hong | Times Staff Writer

The 12th district of the proposed San Fernando Valley city council is dense, bustling and diverse, taking in endless blocks of apartment buildings but also cloistered neighborhoods of grand homes. The needs of the North Hollywood-Valley Village district, as spelled out by the seven candidates for the seat, are similarly varied.

They range from sidewalks on some residential streets to better lighting in the NoHo arts district to a continuation of rent control for all those apartment dwellers. The candidates also want lower business taxes, more police officers and a say in any expansion of nearby Burbank Airport. The winner will take office if Valley secession wins at the polls Tuesday.

"A lot of candidates are talking about breaking up the school district, but for me those are not the issues that come first," said Carlos Ferreyra, a longtime secession activist and perhaps the best-known contender in the 12th district, which also includes Toluca Lake, Valley Glen and part of Studio City.

Ferreyra, 50, a Valley Village resident who owns a medical equipment sales business, said his top priority would be "ensuring the city of the future has the best municipal services, including police and fire service, for the cost."

Earl Howard, 37, a billing manager at a law firm, is among the candidates pushing for a breakup of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The secession election does not involve the schools, but Valley cityhood proponents say a new municipality could persuade the state to carve up the LAUSD.

Howard also describes himself as a progressive who will fight for rent control and a living-wage law in a Valley city, as well as for road and sidewalk repairs in neglected areas of the district.

Daryl A. Sanchez, 35, of Toluca Lake, is running because his goal "has always been to work in government service." A recent Southwestern University law school graduate, Sanchez said that as a council member he would "make sure the new city would be fiscally responsible."

Frank Sheftel, 41, said he would work for more homeless and drug rehabilitation programs. The Valley Glen resident, who owns a North Hollywood candy store, would also focus on street repair and cleanup.

"The streets are terrible; there are potholes everywhere," Sheftel said. "In some areas there are no sidewalks, and refuse stays on the street for weeks."

Victor N. Viereck, 63, an accountant, Realtor and apartment owner, wants to cut the business license tax and promote housing construction by streamlining the planning and permitting process.

Viereck, a former head accountant for the LAUSD, said his experience makes him well-suited for the challenges of starting a city.

"Not only do we need a new Valley city, we need people who understand taxation, budgets and housing. I have experience and background in all those areas," he said.

David Molony, 41, is a computer programmer who just completed a one-year term as executive director of the California Libertarian Party. Molony, who moved to Valley Glen a year ago from San Francisco, said he wants to "lower tax rates and lower the costs of doing government. I've always felt less government is better."

Dion Gazzaruso, 34, a finance manager for Valley Holiday Inc., a commercial real estate holding company, did not return phone calls requesting an interview. The candidate's Web site lists his priorities as better policing, representation for a Valley city on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport board, improved street lighting and support for the NoHo arts district.

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