Challengers have filed papers to run in all but the city clerk’s race, which remains uncontested, setting up a campaign season in which dozens of candidates will be competing to have their messages heard.
While the education-related races have only recently started to pick up, political jostling for the City Council and city treasurer seats started months ago.
Ara Najarian and Bob Yousefian made their official reelection announcements in March, with Frank Quintero following soon after. The early proclamations opened the door to sporadic challenger entries in the months since — well before the typical January start of the election cycle.
So far, the field of City Council candidates who’ve filed papers of intent stands at 11, but that number is expected to grow this month.
The economic recession, and how it will affect public services, is likely to dominate this year’s campaign agenda. All three bodies are coping with declining revenues, either through state budget cutbacks or reduced sales and property tax rolls.
It will also be the first election in which all candidates will have to adhere to a $1,000 campaign contribution limit the City Council adopted in the spring.
No let up in antenna campaign
What started out as a handful of Cumberland Heights neighbors protesting a planned T-Mobile cellular antenna in the city’s right-of-way has turned into a full-on campaign against the practice altogether.
City officials have said repeatedly that applications to install telecommunications equipment in public easements are a federal issue, but that did not stop the City Council from requesting a stay on the T-Mobile antenna until a potential legal recourse could be explored.
Those legal options will come up for discussion at the Jan. 7 City Council meeting, where T-Mobile representatives are scheduled to answer questions about their planned “micro-cell” site for the 500 block of Cumberland Road.