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Alarcón back as City Council member

first_imgThere are new offices, new faces and new procedures, but Richard Alarcón’s return Monday to the City Hall dais was like stepping into a time warp. “In terms of getting into the mood of City Hall, it was like I never left,” Alarcón said Monday as he moved into his new offices, where he’ll work to represent the San Fernando Valley’s 7th Council District. Alarcón was named last Friday as caretaker of the office, vacated with the election of Alex Padilla to the state Senate, allowing him to begin serving out Padilla’s term. Alarcón handily won the seat in the March 6 election, the results of which will be certified later this month. “This way I can get to work immediately and it will avoid some of the costs involved in a special election,” Alarcón said. For Alarcón, the return to City Hall – where he will be eligible to serve for six years – was like returning home after an extended vacation. It was in City Hall that he first became involved in local politics, serving in the administration of former Mayor Tom Bradley and eventually becoming his liaison to the Valley. He then went on to win a close election to the City Council in 1993 before moving on to the state Senate in 1998 because of term limits. “It’s a good feeling to be back here,” Alarcón said. “It was almost like picking up where I was from the day I left. It’s a great opportunity for me to be home and a great opportunity for the San Fernando Valley in terms of economic development.” [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to call a special election for May 15 to fill the 39th Assembly District seat to which Alarcón was elected last November. That will coincide with the Los Angeles general election. “During my election, a lot of opponents said a special election would cost more than $300,000,” Alarcón said. “By consolidating the election, we can save taxpayers money and, hopefully, get someone in office in time to work on the state budget.” Also, he said, he hopes it will help increase voter turnout by having the Assembly district election combined with the scheduled city election. In that compressed election schedule, Alarcón is supporting Felipe Fuentes as his successor. Fuentes, former chief deputy to Padilla, bowed out of the City Council race after Alarcón announced his candidacy. State officials said they were working on an election calendar to set the dates for filing to qualify for the ballot. No other major candidates have announced their intention to run for the seat. last_img

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