Mayor’s Hike Removes Barriers Between Officials, Residents

Public Works Department senior management analyst Paddy Taber and LCF Mayor Leonard Pieroni lead a group of hikers at the fourth annual Mayor’s Hike on Saturday.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Public Works Department senior management analyst Paddy Taber and LCF Mayor Leonard Pieroni lead a group of hikers at the fourth annual Mayor’s Hike on Saturday.

One of the main attractions of the annual La Cañada Flintridge Mayor’s Hike is the chance to connect with city officials in a low-key, relaxed trail environment rather than a formal, perhaps even tense sit-down meeting.
About 50-60 people were able on Saturday to stroll an approximately 1.5-mile loop at Descanso Gardens with the current mayor, Leonard Pieroni and other officials leading the way. Office-holders and staff members could be seen chatting with local residents at nearly every twist and turn of the Descanso Trail.
“They’re just out here. There’s no barriers or separation,” resident Jack Schaedel said of the officials, noting he had spoken with Pieroni and Councilman Michael Davitt. “They’re very accessible and great people, so it’s great.”
Resident Sue Lieu was able to speak with state Sen. Anthony Portantino’s representative David Kim on the trail about 210 Freeway sound walls.
“I liked that conversation,” Lieu said. “I don’t think the city was transparent in terms of priority of the sound walls and the decision-making process. So I asked him to have Portantino’s office work with the city to make the process more transparent. We should be given the requisite information to participate in that process — our participation can only make the project better.”
During remarks before the hike, Pieroni told the crowd that the jaunt afforded participants a number of opportunities.
“For one, it’s an opportunity to get outside and enjoy our trails and get a little bit of exercise,” Pieroni said. “But it’s also a chance for us to enjoy the company and camaraderie of each other … residents and trail lovers alike.”
Pieroni added that the Descanso Trail led through part of Cherry Canyon and offered some of the best views of LCF, Glendale and Los Angeles.
“Three-quarters of the trails throughout the city are county trails, but they’re looked after and managed by the city,” Pieroni said. “The remaining one-fourth of the trails are in Cherry Canyon and those are similarly maintained. Trails are a tremendous resource for hiking, jogging, mountain biking and even horseback riding.”
In an interview before the hike, Pieroni said he began hiking in 1975 when he was part of Boy Scout Troop 509, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory troop in town.
“We used to meet at Oak Grove Elementary School. … It’s where I really got into it,” he said. He added he loved the comforting noise of walking on dirt or rocks during a hike.
Tom Reynolds, of the LCF Trails Council, welcomed the crowd before it began its ramble.
“We love these trails,” Reynolds said. “We love that the mayors do this kind of thing to promote them. We love the fact you guys come out and join us.”
During a break in the hike, Karen Stevenson, program director for the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, said she was especially enjoying the views.
“Oh, it’s fantastic and it’s surprisingly shady,” Stevenson said. “You wouldn’t think that, looking at it from below, but it’s pretty great. I didn’t know it was here. I’m pretty stoked they brought awareness to it.
“I really like to hike, so I’m always looking for local hikes. It’s nice to know this is right here and incredible views, too.”
The Trails Council manned a table at the event, the better to mingle with the walkers, as did the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and La Cañada High School Hiking Club.
LCF Councilwoman Terry Walker, who led the hike last year when she was mayor, was among the participants Saturday.

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