Three Davids seek Lancaster mayor spot
Change, transparency needed, they say
David Abber, a candidate for mayor of Lancaster, describes his attempt to unseat incumbent R. Rex Parris as a David-versus-Goliath contest.
The other two Davids—David Grajeda and David Paul—would most likely agree with Abber.
Although, many in the community have voiced displeasure with the way Parris runs the city, the lawyer is currently vying for his third term in office, and for the Feb. 26 to March 24 reporting period, he collected nearly $16,000 in non-monetary donations to help his campaign.
By contrast, his challengers all indicated on their Fair Political Practices Commission form that they did not expect to receive or spend more than $1,000 during the total campaign.
Those kind of financial differences make the mayor’s race an uphill battle for the Davids. But that is not stopping them.
“I’ve seen changes (in the leadership practices). And I’m not overly happy with the way things are going; the lack of transparency,” said Abber, a business owner who has lived in Lancaster off and on for more than 40 years.
One of issues that drew Abber into the contest is what he says are the high number of lawsuits that have hit the city in the past five years.
Another concern for Abber is where the city’s money is going. He questions a $50-million loan given to the Redevelopment Agency right before that entity was dissolved by the state, and wondered how a city official was able to purchase a property valued at $3 to $4 million for only $600,000 from redevelopment.
Grajeda, too, is concerned about what is happening with the Redevelopment Agency and says one of his key issues is the liquidation of the bad assets accrued through the agency . . . “I’ve gone up many times to address the council and ask why they were buying all the bad assets and investing millions of dollars in property.
“The properties are upside-down and were not selling prior to redevelopment purchasing them. I want to know why the city incurred so much debt?”
In fact, Grajeda advocates that an audit be conducted on everything the past administration has done.
“I want to make sure they did not misappropriate funds, that there’s no fraud. I want to hold people accountable for their actions.”
The entertainment construction worker also wants more people to begin speaking out at municipal meetings. He also has problems that there is no discussion about items that council members vote on and that discussion is encouraged.
Paul, a Chicago transplant who has lived in Lancaster for 12 years, has run for public office three previous times, and is in the race this time because he wants to give voters an alternative.
As a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, Paul said one of his goals is to promote diversity, and he is focused on doing his best to help everyone in the city get along.
He also advocates focusing in “getting all the solar deals going” to help boost the city’s economy.
“We have the ability to produce our own power for internal use and to sell to the county, state and the country,” said Paul, who also thinks the city and its residents need to squarely face a looming deficit that he sees.
“People need leadership that cares about everyone, has vision and the courage to act on that (vision),” concludes Paul.
LANCASTER, Calif.—Nine candidates, including incumbents R. Rex Parris, Sandra Johnson and Ken Mann, have thrown their hats into the ring for open seats in the city government, and this will be the first election under the new Lancaster city charter.
The election is April 10. Two City Council seats and the mayor’s slot are open. In order to win office, a candidate must garner the majority of votes cast. The winners will be sworn-in on April 24.
Lancaster, CA – Mayor of Lancaster, R. Rex Parris set off to China this week to establish a business relationship with Chinese investors, as invited by L.A. County Supervisor, Michael Antonovich. A small delegation of city officials will join the mayor and will return March 17. The delegation includes, Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian, Economic Development and Redevelopment Director Vern Lawson, and Assistant Communications Specialist Chenin Dow.
Antelope Valley, Ca - It’s election time and the races are on! Here is a list of the candidates participating in this year’s political elections.
Candidates for Assembly District 36