Preserve ASNC Candidates Prevail in Saturday's Elections

In an election that saw two slates squaring-off, the Preserve ASNC candidates earned victories.

A total of 402 ballots were cast in Saturday's Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council (ASNC) Elections, which largely saw a slate of candidates with the stated goal of preserving the board defeating a slate that aimed to put it back to business.

All 12 members of the Preserve ASNC slate were elected to the board on Saturday, making up more than half the 21 candidates to win seats in the election.

The opposing Back-2-Business Slate saw 6 of its 12 members elected to the board, each of whom earned seats for which they ran unopposed.

The two candidate slates were formed following a contentious year for the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, which saw allegations overs fraudulent accounting and an attempt by Hermon residents to from a new board distinct from the ASNC.

The Back 2 Business Slate, led by Hermon resident Joseph Riser, was formed with the stated goal of restoring civility to the contentious board, which for months had its meetings overseen by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) due to ongoing in-fighting.

The Preserve ASNC was formed to counteract Back-2-Business Slate, which it saw as attempting to undermine the board given its affiliation with several Hermon residents who supported the formation of a Hermon Neighborhood Council.

Voters seemed to show a preference for the Preserve ASNC Slate, as it swept every head-to-head race against Back-2-Business opponents.

The elections were just as contentious as the board's meetings. Mount Washington and founding ASNC member resident Eliot Sekuler criticized Riser for running for Sycamore Grove's geographic representative seat, despite not living in the neighborhood.

In return, Back-2-Business candidate David Lyttle accused Preserve ASNC candidates of being "paranoid."

Former ASNC Treasuer and Hermon Resident Mark Legassie accused Preserve ASNC candidates of encouraging voters to lie about their stakeholder status so they could vote for Monterey Hills candidate Judy Knapton.

Three candidates who were not affiliated with any slate--Andrew Ptashnik, Paul Jacques and Brittany Wolfson--also earned seats on the board.

Election Results:

Hermon Representatives (2 Elected)

Andrea Moran (Back to Business) elected with 102 Votes
Judy Shane (Back to Business) elected with 87 votes

Montecito Heights Representatives (2 Elected)

Roy Payan (Preserve ASNC) elected with 45 votes
Martha Benedict (Preserve ASNC) elected with 32 votes

Monterey Hills Representatives (2 Elected)

Judy Knapton (Preserve ASNC) elected with 74 votes
Darius Adle (Preserve ASNC) elected with 67 votes
David Lyttle (Back to Business) not elected (received 25 votes)

Mount Washington Representatives (4 Elected)

Andrew Ptashnik (No Slate) elected with 30 votes
Valerie Harragin (Preserve ASNC) elected with 55 votes
Andrea Jayasekera (Preserve ASNC) elected with 64 votes
Paul Jacques (No Slate) elected with 30 votes

Sycamore Grove (2 Elected)

Sergio Vidal-Echeverria (Back to Business) elected with 27 votes
Joseph Riser (Back to Business) elected with 12 votes

Retail, Wholesale and Services (1 Elected)

Alfred Buhler (Back to Business) elected with 242 votes

Faith Based Organizations (1 Elected)

Margaret Barto (Preserve ASNC) elected with 184 votes
Alexander Bowman (Back to Business) not elected (received 162 votes)

Environmental (1 Elected)

Nina Zippay (Preserve ASNC) elected with 256 votes

Education and Youth (1 Elected)

Brittany Wolfson (No Slate) elected with 202 votes

Recreation, Culture and the Arts (1 Elected)

Ariel Van Zandweghe (Preserve ASNC) elected with 177 votes
Lily Feliciano (Back to Business) not elected (received 166 votes)
Zoey Goetsch (No Slate) not elected (received 12 votes)

Healthcare and Seniors (1 Elected)

Annie Sakamoto (Back to Business) elected with 264 votes

Community Non-Profits (1 Elected)

Terry Saltzman (Preserve ASNC) elected with 203 votes
Clifford Moseley (Back to Business) not elected (received 151 votes)

At Large

Jack Fong (Preserve ASNC) elected with 177 votes
Teresa 'Teri' Bonsell (Preserve ASNC) elected with 160 votes
Tony Torres (Back to Business) not elected (received 152 votes)
Arthur Jaramillo (Back to Business) not elected (received 137 votes)


JosephR October 16, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Congats on your nuptuals, David, Glad you missed all the elections nastiness here -- great planning, though -- and hope you had a wonderful honeymoon. What was actually "preserved" in the ASNC election will play out in the coming year or two, as will whether it can actually get "back" to the business that neighborhood councils were created and are funded to do: "promote public participation in City governance and decision-making processes so that government is more responsive to local needs and requests . . ." http://www.lacityneighborhoods.com/Documents/PlanOrdinance.pdf
David Fonseca (Editor) October 16, 2012 at 07:46 PM
That's correct, Joseph! Updated. Still getting back into the swing, as you can see. Thanks for the best wishes, though I must say the fall foliage and welcoming climate in New Hampshire was the main motivating factor for planning the wedding for when we did!
David Lyttle October 17, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Did the Preserve ASNC slate prevail?......it depends on your definition. If you use the definition “to use persuasion successfully” then in fact the Preserve ASNC slate did prevail. Without question they were successful in their persuasion to get stakeholders from Mount Washington, Montecito Heights and others from areas outside the boundaries of the ASNC to self-affirm Monterey Hills at the ballot box in order to stack the vote in their favor. However, if you use the definition “to gain ascendancy through strength or superiority” then the Preserve ASNC slate did not prevail. Their lack of strength is evidenced by their need to persuade. And as far as superiority goes, I cannot see any of the Preserve ASNC slate candidates as being more important or better than any other non-Preserve ASNC candidate. So, did the ASNC slate prevail? ......it depends on your definition.
The MOG October 17, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Heh! Prevail means they got the most votes. Do you really think a recent transplant (Within 5 years), who puts a down payment on a home, settles down among others like himself, thinks the main stand out points in the area are Art & Food, the top political priorities bike lanes, & "pocket parks", is truly able to garner 190 votes from his friends & neighbors who live, work, or own property in the district? Of course not. I recieved 46 Votes, after 3 1/2 weeks campaigning, no organization, spur of the moment candidacy. However, I'm from here, so you'd think I'd have a slight advantage to work on. There were 87 Factual Basis Votes cast for HHPNC. That reduces 190 to 103. The other votes get pegged down to 40-80 range. Which means I would have won, if only true stakeholders were allowed to cast ballots. I can complain, but it won't change the results. I'm satisfied with the election results. I knew I didn't have a real chance, unless I joined a slate, which I was unwilling to do. I wanted to remain independent. I would not enjoy my victory as much, knowing it was based on Factual Basis Voters. I would prefer to win it on my own, not part of a group. Otherwise, my winning would be hollow, & feel somehow illigitimate. The best we can do is reiterate our displeasure with Factual Basis, & work with others to have DONE change it back to the Charter's Original Intent. Legal Action may be required. David, it would have to be a City Wide Campaign to overturn. I'm sure it could be done.
Charles Inman October 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Tell CA Secretary of State about it like I told them about the non secret ballots.
Jutti Marsh October 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I did not have an opportunity to vote. I had a commitment to attend a conference out of town. Info about getting a "vote by mail" ballot reached me so late I only had one of two ways to apply. Via fax, I do not have access to a fax machine, or via a website, which when I checked it out, was not secure so I did not want to put personal information on it. I hope the current board can start acting in a more professional manner. I find the behavior of the past months an embarrassment to the community and not serving the interests of the community they have been elected to serve. Several suggestions: 1. If you have a concern about what a board member is doing, discuss it with them first BEFORE going to DONE or making public accusations. 2. Avoid airing your "dirty laundry" in public. It makes YOU look bad. Remember when you point your finger to accuse someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you! 3. While there are a number of smaller communities within the ASNC, please consider the good of all involved. 4. I hope you will get back to working on preparedness and public safety issues.
Jutti Marsh October 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Very good point! I agree with you 100%
Mark Legassie October 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Hint Hint: Nothing is in stone yet--don't count your chickens before they are hatched :-) And Jutti's suggestions are wise ones.
Charles Inman October 18, 2012 at 01:24 AM
If you beef directly, they may do the following: Play dumb. Complain you don't attend meeting. Whine how hard they work for no pay. Piously recite it's in the Bylaws.
Alice M. October 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Rob Schraff October 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Here's another dose of surrealistic Riser anger and denial: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NortheastLA/message/16834 Note that Wendi Riser not only is uninterested in putting the ASNC "back to business," (the all-too-clearly ironic name of the Riser/Hermon slate) but that she and Joe will continue to refuse to play nice with others and work only on behalf of Hermon (well, at least the 123 Hermon ASNC voters). Also recall that Joe Riser got 12 votes. In an uncontested contest. In Sycamore Grove. In addition, like Mark Legassie, Wendi is foreshadowing an upcoming election challenge. Not that they are (and have been) in cahoots, or anything. (And Mark, if you really think Jutti's suggestions are wise ones, you should check out the unsubstantiated innuendo you and Wendi are sending out from your glass houses.)
David Lyttle October 18, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Challenge election….. What do you mean…..can I challenge the election? I was the Back 2 Business Monterey Hills geographic rep slate candidate and it’s not too clear to me that I am part of any “Riser/Hermon slate”. And you talk about playing nice with others…………..look what happened in Monterey Hills at hands of “nice” people on the Preserve ASNC slate.
RICHARD ROSAS January 07, 2013 at 07:47 AM
My family goes back to 1700s. in all my years i have never seen good folks like Risser and Legassie, whom have volunteered and worked endless hours, whom are trying to save lives while your "new council" spends money on Jazz festivals and wants to eliminate EMERGENCY PREPARDNESS TEAM! Read the UNITED STATES REPORT ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE! You will find its not "PREPARE" anymore its "ADAPTATION"! IM SURE EMERGENCY ALERT SIREN AND PORTABLE FIRE PUMP AND TRIAGE ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION WITH THESE NEW FOLKS! It is now your responsability to help 7,000. residents in a disaster and you best be prepared! (and no hugging your art murals nor dog park nor jazz festivals are gona help when it hits fan!) by time you open your eyes its gona be too late! see ya wouldnt wana be ya!!!


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