Frometa appears headed for win in tight Downey City Council District 4 race

Frometa appears headed for win in tight Downey City Council District 4 race

Giggy Perez-Saab pulls ahead in Downey Unified school board election

Residents in northeast Downey appeared to have a new City Council members Wednesday in unofficial results from a tight District 4 race.

With all precincts reporting, Claudia Frometa — who had the backing of the majority of the City Council and the president of the local school board — snared 47.9 percent of the vote. Real-estate broker Carrie Uva was second, earning 41.4 percent of the vote. Insurance agent Tony Hernandez-Ayala tailed with 10.6 percent.

Downey, like an increasing number of cities statewide, has council districts. District 4 Councilman Fernando Vasquez, first elected in 2010, is termed out; Mayor Sean Ashton, of District 2, was up for re-election but no one ran against him.

Frometa, an immigrant from Juarez, Mexico, who came to Downey when she was 13, said on the campaign trail that she wants to expand public safety and be tough on crime.

She also would not support axing the Downey Fire Department in favor of contracting with Los Angeles County, an increasingly popular option to save cities money.

“My vision is to work tirelessly to maintain a safe and wholesome community,” Frometa said on her campaign website.

Uva, a member of the Public Works Committee and the president-elect of the Downey Chamber of Commerce, said her residents care about traffic and parking issues — though, like Frometa, public safety would top her list of priorities.

In November 2016, 63 percent of voters in this city of 113,000 approved Measure S, a half-cent sales tax measure meant to bolster public safety. The tax, which went into effect last year, is expected to raise about $9 million annually, according to city estimates, and allow Downey to forgo outsourcing its police and fire departments, put more officers on the streets, and create drug, crime and gang prevention programs.

Uva, an estate planning attorney for 25 years, has also said she wouldn’t rule out allowing a homeless shelter in Downey – but would want to weigh the cost-benefit of any plan first.

“My knowledge and many years of experience in law and real estate, strongly enables me to be a spokesperson for the residents of Downey,” Uva said on her campaign website, “while at the same time, my 40-plus years of living in the district among neighbors, family, friends, clients, business owners, and community leaders, earns me the opportunity to address the needs and concerns of the citizens of Downey.”

Hernandez-Ayala owns an insurance agency. His company, 24 Hour Insurance, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

A community volunteer appeared headed for a win over her lone opponent in the race to get on the Downey Unified School District Board of Education, based on semi-official returns from the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

With all precincts reporting Wednesday, Giggy Perez-Saab had 52 percent of the votes, compared to 47.9 percent for facilities director Carlos Avalos.

Avalos is the director of facilities for the Lennox School District whose priorities were student and campus safety, and bringing more students to the district in response to declining enrollment.

The Board of Education for Downey Unified has seven members. Perez-Saab and Avalos ran to replace William Gutierrez, who resigned from the board in May, saying he moved out of the area. The winner will serve the remainder of Gutierrez’s term, which ends in 2020.


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