Jonathan Curtis is in the process of reintroducing himself to the community.
La Cañada Flintridge’s sitting mayor is among three candidates running for two available seats on the City Council. He’ll face veteran incumbent Dave Spence and first-time candidate Keith Eich in the March 7 election. LCF City Council members serve four-year terms.
Following five years on the Planning Commission, Curtis ran for City Council for the first time in 2013. Back on the campaign trail, Curtis is hoping to motivate voters to head back to the polls again after last November’s election.
“Frankly, people are a little bit burnt out on the political side, so it was more effective to reach out after the beginning of the year,” Curtis said. “That’s a very short time frame for outreach.”
So in addition to his ongoing mayoral duties and his job as a land use attorney for the California Golden Fund, Curtis has been busy meeting with community groups such as the Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club.
Curtis says that during these sorts of gatherings, he shares information about his work with the council on matters involving the city’s opposition to the proposed 710 Freeway Tunnel; streamlining city government through technological initiatives; plans for the new City Hall and the burgeoning Sister Cities Association program.
“[LCF] is very connected to the wide region in many ways,” said Curtis, referencing issues including the 710 and the city’s stake in the Measure M transportation plan as examples of ways that LCF is connected to the broader area. “A lot of citizens don’t realize the regional challenges we deal with.”
He said residents recently have spoken to him about a few issues that haven’t been a focus over the past four years, including water districts.
“We’ve got four water districts that blanket the area, so it’s cut up and some are probably better than others as far as service and being responsive to citizens, so you start hearing things like that,” Curtis said.
He said there’s also been discussion about what it will take to establish sewer connections for the homes in LCF that still don’t have them.
“Right now, we don’t have an answer for it,” Curtis said. “If you try to put in the typical type of system, it could be in excess of $100,000 per household. So there’s been some exploration by council members as far as trying to see if we can get some different grants to put some backbone in. Eventually, the [Environmental Protection Agency] and regional water quality control board do focus on communities that have not converted to sewers, so it’s not something we can ignore, and we shouldn’t.”
Curtis said he also wants residents to feel good about where they live.
“I personally think we’ve got a great community,” Curtis said. “It’s not about the community being broken and we’ve got to fix it, it’s just about making the community even better than it is, and also addressing a lot of the regional challenges that we have.”