A RICH HISTORY...
Since it's inception in 1977, the Topanga Town Council (TTC) has been serving an ever-growing and ever-changing community. The Town Council began in 1977, when resident Jan Moore had a vision as to how to serve the community. Town meetings led to an ad hoc committee that formed the Topanga Canyon Town Council. It became a non-profit California corporation whose function was to act as an informational conduit between the town and local government officials.
Gary Davis became the first President and continued to promote the spirit and ideas of the original founders. One of his most important contributions was to establish the TTC Hotline, which more than proved its worth during the floods of 1980. The Council acted as a liaison between the community and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, Red Cross, Cal-trans and the Los Angeles County Health Department. Hotline volunteers relayed information and directed help to those who needed it. By 1994, the Hotline demand was so great, that an independent organization formed and was named T-CEP (Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness) to improve communication during emergencies for residents.
Continuing in the 1980’s, Barry Glaser, Marty Brastow and Al Riggs served terms as President of the Town Council. The Council participated in a feasibility study with the Local Agency Formation Commission to determine if Topanga should be a candidate for incorporation as a city. The small amount of sales tax generated in Topanga was not, and is not, sufficient to pay for agencies such as fire, police and roads. It also joined various Topanga organizations to oppose the powerful land developers and Disney’s attempt to build Canyon Ranch in the northern undeveloped area. TTC has encouraged the expansion of State Parks on undeveloped land in our area and supports the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountain’s (RCDSMM) environmental efforts.
In 1982, the Council Board Members helped organize the Buddy Ebsen Community Arson Watch and funded the Topanga unit. Twenty-two years in the making, Arson Watch became independent. Under the supervision of Alan Emerson, over 140 volunteers patrol the canyon and adjacent areas in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Beginning in 1990, Dale Robinette served as President of the Town Council. During his presidency, the Council became a member of the Topanga Canyon Boulevard Traffic Committee. which gave Topanga a voice for Cal-Trans' road improvement project and the traffic signal at Pine Tree. He also helped the council give voice to environmental causes. Other highlights of Robinette's tenure included adoption of the flower box wall on TCB at Fernwood; working with the "Slow Down Through Town" movement that culminated with the "Welcome to Topanga" signs posted on the boulevard; establishing the "Do-Gooder" awards acknowledging local residents' and business owners' volunteer efforts; and raising money for the Council through the sale of Topanga Access Stickers (which is now the Access Card) and Topanga license place frames (sold at Topanga Lumber and now also offered at Mimosa and online).
In 2002, Manfred Schlosser became President and re-established a time-honored tradition of having the Town Council sponsor the town parade during Memorial Day weekend.
Anthony Hall headed the Council for the next two years, supporting programs that included the development of a Leeds public library and support of after-school programs.
In 2006, Jacqui Benson continued the Council’s involvement with local organizations, developed the Town Council website and addressed traffic control issues.
Current President, Stacy Sledge leads the way by continuing to promote the spirit and ideas of the original founders. Under her reign, the Town Council developed the community website, OneTopanga.com, which is a centralized online informational center for the residents, the businesses and the County. The Town Council’s commitment to connecting the community continues with the development of the 1-800-Topanga phone system. In 2009, the Town Council replaced the Access Sticker evacuation program with the more effective Topanga Resident Access Card. The card displays the resident's photograph along with the Fire Department's Zone numbering system which allows residents easier re-entry into the canyon after a disaster when roads are closed and when law enforcement officers deem it safe.
In 2014, the Town Council united all Topanga non-profit organizations by creating HUB of Topanga, enabling local groups to share information and create cooperative opportunities. The new street banner pole system was installed offering local non-profits additional marketing opportunites. Also that year, the Council helped launch the Susan Nissman Watershed Resource Library at the new RCD headquarters in Topanga.
The Town Council serves on the Topanga Emergency Management Task Force, Topanga's Neighborhood Network Committee, Save Topanga State Park, Topanga Canyon Boulevard Roadside Traffic Committee, Water District 29 Master Plan Task Force, and the Topanga Small Business Alliance. The Topanga Town Council appears at County hearings giving advice on numerous land-use planning issues affecting Topanga and its inhabitants. It is committed to furthering the academic goals of the community's children; to holding town hall meetings on topics important to Topangans; to keeping graffiti from proliferating in the community; to providing avenues of communication during emergencies; to serving the local homeless community, and to promoting community projects that benefit all.