Election Day is barely behind us, but several South Bay cities, along with Los Angeles, are gearing up for March 2013 municipal races.
The filing period officially opens this week for candidates wanting to add their names to the March 5 ballot in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Carson, Gardena, Palos Verdes Estates and Rolling Hills. Tuesday marks the actual start of filing because Monday is Veterans Day, when most cities are closed for business.
Redondo Beach will have a packed ballot.
Councilmen Steve Aspel, Matt Kilroy and Pat Aust have declared their candidacies to replace Mayor Mike Gin, who is termed out.
Kilroy and Aust will have two years left on their terms in March, and the council will appoint someone to serve their remaining term should one of them be elected as mayor.
Aspel, first elected to the council in 2005, will be termed out of his seat representing District 1. Candidates to replace him include Public Works Commissioner Jeff Ginsburg and longtime slow-growth activist Jim Light.
District 2 Councilman Bill Brand, first elected in 2009, previously announced his bid for re-election but said Friday that he may decide to run for mayor instead. If he runs for re-election, Brand is expected to face at least one challenger for his council seat: Harbor Commissioner Michael Jackson.
District 4 Councilman Steve Diels, who will be termed out, said he will not run for mayor. Library Commissioner Jan
City Attorney Mike Webb, first elected in May 2005, said Friday he will run for re-election. There are no term limits for the city attorney position.
Also appearing on the March ballot is a citizen initiative aimed at retiring the AES power plant. If approved, the initiative would rezone the 50 acres of AES-owned land along North Harbor Drive for open space, commercial and institutional use.
The filing period for Redondo Beach City Council candidates will close on Dec. 7, but would be extended to Dec. 12 if an incumbent who is not termed out does not file.
The five-member Redondo school board is guaranteed to witness an overhaul. Three trustees - Drew Gamet, Jane Diehl and Todd Loewenstein - will be termed out.
Already, three potential candidates have publicly expressed interest. Port of Los Angeles executive Michael Christensen, former Redondo Beach Education Foundation leader Brad Serkin and businessman Brad Waller all attended a school board meeting last month allowing interested parties to introduce themselves.
In Manhattan Beach, voters will elect three City Council members and a treasurer.
Mayor Wayne Powell plans to run for a second term on the council, while two of his colleagues - Councilmen Richard Montgomery and Nick Tell - will be termed out.
Also up for re-election is Treasurer Tim Lilligren, who won the post in 2005.
The deadline to file nomination papers is Dec. 7, except if an incumbent does not file by then. That would mean the deadline for nonincumbents gets pushed to Dec. 12.
Carson voters will choose a mayor and two City Council members for new four-year terms.
Currently holding those seats are Mayor Jim Dear, Councilman Mike Gipson and Councilwoman Julie Ruiz-Raber - all of whom are expected to try to keep their jobs. The nomination period closes on Dec. 10.
Gardena voters will see five positions up for grabs: mayor, two City Council seats, city treasurer and city clerk.
Mayor Paul Tanaka is not expected to try to hold onto his seat, and Councilman Ron Ikejiri will be termed out.
Councilwoman Tasha Cerda, City Clerk Maria E. Marquez-Brookes and Treasurer Ingrid Tsukiyama will be up for re-election. The filing closes on Dec. 10.
In Palos Verdes Estates, Councilmen George Bird and James Goodhart will be up for re-election along with Treasurer Joseph Sherwood.
The last day to file papers is Dec. 7, or Dec. 12 in the event that an incumbent not affected by term limits doesn't file for a seat on time.
Nearby in the gated city of Rolling Hills, voters will elect two council members and weigh in on a pair of ballot measures.
Two longtime officials will be up for re-election: Councilmen Thomas Heinsheimer and Godfrey Pernell, who began their City Council stints in 1972 and 1975, respectively.
The city has the same filing deadlines: Dec. 7, or if an incumbent doesn't file, Dec. 12.
One ballot measure asks voters whether the city should amend its zoning ordinance so that stables constructed prior to July 12, 2010, can be used for residential purposes.
The other addresses the specifics of the community's view preservation rules, including establishing a higher burden of proof to show the existence of a protected view.
Meanwhile, the filing period has already opened for candidates planning to run in Los Angeles' March 5 election.
In addition to citywide races for mayor, city controller and city attorney, voters will decide eight City Council district contests - including one in District 11, which takes in Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista - and elect three Los Angeles Unified school board members.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will not run because of term limits, which opens up the door for several high-profile candidates: council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, Controller Wendy Greuel, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin James and tech company executive Emmanuel Pleitez.
Controller candidates include Councilman Dennis Zine, marketing executive-turned-activist Cary Brazeman and Ron Galperin, president of the Quality and Productivity Commission.
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will be challenged by termed-out Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, a former councilman who lost a bid for the job in 2001.
With District 11 Councilman Bill Rosendahl opting to retire, his chief deputy, Mike Bonin, plans to run along with Mark Ryavec, Frederick Sutton and Odysseus Bostick.
One of the three Los Angeles Unified school board seats on the ballot is in Westside District 4, held by Steve Zimmer. Also up for grabs are three at-large Los Angeles Community College District seats.
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Staff writers Sandy Mazza, Douglas Morino, Rob Kuznia and Barbara Jones contributed to this article.