“We needed to have more information with the (Ralph M.) Brown Act,” said Gonzales, who served from February to July. “You’re a volunteer, and then to get sued to pay money out of your pocket is kind of crazy, especially when you don’t know what’s involved.” The plaintiffs included Johnson, Cangiano, Harnett and current council member Richard Dyer. “The intent was to have the Town Council be open to the community by allowing videotaping and posting of the minutes,” Cangiano said. “The Town Council was not forthcoming with that, and there seemed no clear path to resolving that.” Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled in July that the Town Council must abide by the Brown Act, despite claims of exemption because it was only an advisory panel without legislative powers. The lawsuit cost council members a total of $14,000 to settle, and led to the resignations. “Do I think that the Brown Act in any way damaged the Town Council? I do not,” said Cangiano, who is allied with Johnson in the election. “I believe the Brown Act is something the Town Council can live with.” Gonzales said he is now seeking a fresh start with the council. “It was an issue of figuring out what’s the best thing to do,” he said. “If I was a quitter, I wouldn’t be running again.” Cangiano, after two consecutive losses, said she’s willing to give it one more shot. “I’m running one last time because I feel it’s important to give a balance to the Town Council,” she said. “I feel Mary and I provide balance. Otherwise, the whole council will be made up for a special interest.” Cangiano believes the council should focus on issues other than the air park; the expansion plans are under review by the county Department of Regional Planning. “I feel that it’s resolved,” she said. “The (county) Board of Supervisors took over the issue. It’s not our issue anymore.” She said development and water supply remain important issues in the community and require attention. Gonzales said he is running to help preserve Agua Dulce’s rural quality. “It’s a great community and we want to keep it the way it is as (much as) possible,” he said. “You can’t keep growth from happening – we just want to control growth. “The bottom line is keeping it rural and comfortable, neighbors getting along with neighbors, trying to keep the trails open.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Issues such as water rights and mining have over the years confronted this unincorporated community of just 3,000 residents nestled in the canyons between the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. Of these, the proposed expansion of the Agua Dulce Air Park, a small rural airstrip, remains the most divisive. Green is president of the Concerned Citizens of Agua Dulce, an anti-airport expansion group. Longtime resident Spry has been active in Town Council business. MacAdam is co-owner of Agua Dulce Vineyards. Johnson works for the county Parks and Recreation Department, and formerly was manager at the airport. Cangiano ran for the Town Council in November 2004 and in August. Gonzales served on the panel from February to July 2005 before resigning with three others. The exodus forced a special election in August to re-establish a quorum. Council members said they felt persecuted by a group that had sued the panel in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging violation of the state’s open meetings law. AGUA DULCE – Six residents are running for four seats on the Agua Dulce Town Council, an advisory panel that has been a public stage for residents sparring over local issues – including a small airport looking to expand. Incumbent Mary Johnson and candidates Lorene Cangiano, Ze Gonzales, Patrick Green, Don MacAdam and Peg Spry are on Tuesday’s ballot. Each seeks one of four spots on the policy panel that advises 5th District county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich on local issues. Johnson, who was elected just two months ago in a special election, is running to retain her seat for a full two-year term. Also open are seats being vacated by Andy Fried, Diane Terito and Eric Harnett; Harnett was elected in August. “I’ve done two terms, and I think that at this point, it’s time for other people to learn how to deal with these issues, to start participating in the process,” said Fried, currently the council’s president, who is retiring after a four-year stint.