It appears that Mayor Mike Ten’s stance on the Long Beach (710) Freeway has cost him his job.
Ten finished sixth in the South Pasadena City Council race Tuesday, as Councilman Richard Schneider and newcomers Marina Khubesrian and Bob Joe won the available seats in the nine-candidate race. South Pasadena voters also approved a revamped utility tax that leaders say is key to keeping the city on solid financial footing.
In a community that has long opposed a planned extension of the 710 from its terminus in Alhambra to the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena, Ten called for a more open dialogue that contemplated an eventual 4.5-mile freeway tunnel under the city. Other candidates for council oppose the tunnel and want state transportation officials — now launching a four-year environmental review of alternatives for the 710 gap — to abandon plans for a highway.
“My stance on the 710 has always been an issue with those who were running for city council,” said Ten, who believes concern about the freeway has cast a shadow over topics such as improving surface streets and circulation. “I speak for a silent majority of citizens that are tired of the 710 dominating everything the council does.”