Dave Spence, the most experienced member of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, is asking voters to allow him to dedicate four more years to the city on their behalf.
Along with Jonathan Curtis and Keith Eich, Spence is one of three candidates running for two available seats in the March 7 election. The County Registrar-Recorder sent vote-by-mail ballots Monday. The three candidates were set to participate in a forum Wednesday evening at Flintridge Prep.
Spence, a La Cañada Flintridge resident since 1969, has served on the City Council continuously since he was initially elected in 1992, following a term on the Planning Commission. He’s served as mayor a record six times.
“I just feel that it’s helpful to bring a little history and knowledge to the council,” Spence said. “I would say I come to this council race with the same enthusiasm I had when I started in 1992. It’s a mentally challenging position, but it’s also enjoyable, and since I’m retired, I have the time to spend on it. I did not even think about not running.”
Spence said the city benefits from his presence on a varied group of regional groups, because he offers a voice for local issues during regional discussion and because he’s developed good working relationships with people in powerful positions, such as Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
Spence serves on the Local Agency Formation Commission of L.A. County; the board of directors of the County Sanitation District; the L.A. County Vector Control Board and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Liability Trust Fund Claims Board. He’s also past president of California Contract Cities.
Within LCF, Spence said his accomplishments include having persuaded Mark Alexander to take on the role of city manager in 2003. Spence said since 1992 he’s stood with citizens who’ve been working to transfer the Sagebrush territory from the Glendale Unified School District to La Cañada Unified.
He also was the driving force behind Music in the Park, the popular summertime concert series.
“I’m proud to say I actually came up with that idea,” Spence said. “And every year, I see that growing.”
The city’s staff also has grown since Spence joined the City Council. Last month, Spence and his colleagues on the City Council approved the $11.23 million purchase of the former Sport Chalet headquarters to be used as City Hall.
Next up: Decisions about how best to utilize that space, and what to do with the current City Hall (for which, Spence said, the city has already received a preliminary offer.)
“I really want to be involved in this decision-making process,” Spence said. “I’ve been involved for the last seven or eight months, and we’ve worked with the architect and interior designer, I just think that the five of us who are currently involved in this project should continue.”
Spence’s message to voters is that he has more to offer to the city.
“La Cañada Flintridge is one of the greatest cities in this state,” Spence said. “And it didn’t just happen by accident. It took a lot of dedicated council members, it took a lot of hard work by our staff. I want to continue to focus on making this the greatest city in the state.”