In an effort to bring more voters to the Mar Vista Community Council election Tuesday, March 15th, Community Council members will include a survey on a separate ballot that will question voters about their feelings on various community issues.
The third annual election for the Mar Vista Community Council board of directors is scheduled between 5 and 9 p.m. at the Mar Vista Elementary School, 3331 Granville Road, Mar Vista.
Seven candidates, including four incumbents, will run unopposed for seven open seats on the council.
The four incumbents running are Ken Alpern, vice chairmen Bill Scheding and Rob Kadota, and chairman Tom Ponton.
The three newcomers in the election are Claudia Border, Renee Marcus and Matthew Vodnoy.
The Community Council voted Tuesday, March 1st, to approve an outreach survey to be placed on a separate ballot, which council members said is intended to improve voter turnout and to better understand the opinions of community stakeholders.
The survey will not be binding on the board of directors to take any specific course of action on the issues.
“We anticipate that a lot more people will come to the election as a result,” Ponton said.
“It gives people an opportunity to express their feelings about issues versus voting for people they don’t know very well.”
Ponton said flyers advertising the election and survey questions were sent out to about 25,000 homes to inform the community’s 55,000 stakeholders of the event.
The survey will ask 13 questions about various community issues and concerns, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) expansion, Los Angeles Unified School District issues, left-turn arrows at major intersections, and the role of Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils and Santa Monica Airport issues.
“This is to promote people to come to the election,” said Ken Marsh, council election and bylaws committee chairman.
Alpern said the survey is “a great idea,” but it would be more effective if the council had more than two weeks to put it together.
“There’s so much to do in two weeks,” Alpern said. “I wish it would have been done four to six weeks ago.”
Resident Jerry Gotlieb also said the survey is a good idea, but the survey will not receive much feedback at the election and deserves broader outreach.
“This is far too important to leave it up to the chance that people show up at the election,” he said. “I have my reservations.”
Ponton said the survey will serve a dual purpose for the Community Council by creating outreach and giving the council ideas of what community residents think about certain issues.
The council will try to address the issues more strongly supported by the community, he said.
“We’re very concerned about what people think,” he said. “If 80 percent of the people feel one way, every single person on the council will try to do something about it.”
A 6 p.m. candidate forum for the Mar Vista Community Council will also be held during the council election Tuesday, March 15th.
The newly elected council members will start serving on the community council at the meeting in April, when the board of directors will vote for the officer positions.