Editor's note: This is one in a series of Q &A's with candidates for the March 8 La Cañada Flintridge City Council election.
Michael Davitt, 46, is the head of real estate for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He has lived in LCF since 1969. This is his first run for city council. Michael is married and has four children. He is very active in his kids’ sporting events and other activities, and enjoys playing golf.
Question: Many would like to see a remapping of the school district to eliminate the Sagebrush issue, which, by law, forces some students on one side of the same street to attend schools in Glendale, while students across the street attend school in LCF. What would you like to see done to rectify this situation?
Answer: LCF attempted to change the school boundaries unsuccessfully over a decade ago. Due to that, many are unwilling to look into this issue. I believe that we should once again begin the process to see if we can bring those children back into our schools where they belong as residents of LCF. As a resident of our city who lives in this community, it is important that LCF be one entire unit, including allowing our children to attend La Cañada Flintridge schools.
Question: If elected, what could you and the city council as a whole do to improve LCF schools in general?
Answer: The joint use agreement is an excellent agreement that is currently in place. I think that the city council needs to proactively find ways to expand that agreement in order to assist what is probably the most valuable asset in the community: our schools.
Question: What do you most oppose about the extension of the 710 Freeway, assuming you oppose it. If you support it, why?
Answer: The threat of the 710 expansion is real and we must have the leadership in our city council that is equipped and experienced enough to fight this threat within the many agencies that are involved in this proposed project. The pollution, noise, etc. from the increased traffic is a true threat to how we live and work in La Cañada Flintridge.
Question: As a challenger in the council race, what do you bring to the table to address concerns that the existing city council is not responsive enough to community concerns?
Answer: City Hall must become more responsive and transparent. The very important asset in this community is the people and the council members cannot forget their primary role, which is to “Represent the Citizens.” City Hall needs to be more open and do a better job of informing our neighbors of projects that affect them. We need to utilize current technology such as e-mail and Facebook to keep residents informed. I have pledged to send e-mails on a regular basis to keep individuals appraised of what is happening at City Hall and within the city. Additionally, I will push city staff to go beyond minimum notification requirements and take additional steps to notify immediately affected neighbors of projects in their area. I would also establish a Citizens’ Advisory Committee on communication, which would advise on creating a new Web site for the city, as our current web page needs to be improved.