Incumbent City Council Candidate Ken Mann outlines his platform

Ken Mann was first elected to Lancaster City Council in April 2008. Mann is seeking reelection this April.

LANCASTER – Four years ago, Lancaster City Council Member Ken Mann successfully ran on a platform of reducing crime, curbing Section 8 fraud, solving the city’s water problem and getting Lancaster to become more fiscally responsible. This year, Mann is running on a similar platform.

If reelected, crime will continue to be his top priority in the next four years, followed by bringing more permanent jobs to Lancaster, improving the economic condition of the city, and reducing Section 8 fraud, according to Mann.

“That’s (crime) always been a concern of mine,” Mann said. “I’m trying to get crime back to how it was in what I call ‘the old days,’ but I don’t know if we’ll ever get it back to that level.”

“If you take a look now, probably one of our best records that’s taken place in four years is we’ve dropped crime by 40 percent,” Mann continued. “I think that’s a proud accomplishment. I think that the entire council was pretty much aligned with knowing that that was the first and foremost priority…and do whatever it takes whether it was dollars, whether we needed to put more deputies on the streets, whether it was more equipment.”

Although crime has gone down, Mann said he thinks the next four years will be a major challenge because Lancaster will start to feel the effects of the recent prison release.

Those released were imprisoned for things such as petty crime and robberies, Mann said. Looking at the city’s current statistics, petty crime and robberies were the only crime areas that were up.

He said he thinks the ‘Eye in the Sky’ project will help to keep crime down.

“It’s really about being innovative,” Mann said. “Traditionally you think of a deputy in his car and that’s old school.”

He said the ‘Eye in the Sky’ project allows for greater technological use with facial recognition and license plate identification. Recently, Mann said people who had committed three armed robberies were caught thanks to the cutting edge technology.

Lancaster may take an initial hit of $1.3 million, but Mann said he thinks it will contain costs in the long run.

“We will be able to fight crime getting greater results with less money,” he said.

Mann said because of the fairly high unemployment in Lancaster, his second priority over the next four years would be to bring jobs back to the city.

Lancaster has been going green and developing strong partnerships with companies like Solar City, but the jobs from those projects are temporary, he said.

“We need a strong economic base for the city,” Mann said. “Something more permanent.”

Mann (center) takes a break at the MLK Day of Service at AV High School on Jan. 14. Mann donated the first $1,000 to the cause.

Fiscal responsibility is one of the platforms Mann ran on last election, and will continue to run on this term.

“We do the best job we can with the least amount of resources,” Mann said.

Mann said in his current term, they have been able to keep a balanced budget as well as have no layoffs because all five members of the council have been conservative with funds.

He added that though they have been successful in being fiscally responsible, the next four years will be even tougher.

Regardless, Mann said the council has been able to really build a community. There was an event at the Blvd in October that brought over 30,000 people together, he said.

Those kind of events help the people feel safe as well as indirectly reduce crime, Mann added.

If reelected, Mann said during his next term he wants to continue to create partnerships and continue to build on the community.

Another major issue Mann said he wants to improve upon is Section 8 fraud.

“Some people get in the system and their only goal is to fraud it,” Mann said. “I’m not saying everyone is doing it, but I want to make sure we get the vouchers to those who really need it.”

The lawsuit filed against Lancaster regarding Section 8 housing will force cut backs on the number of housing inspections, leaving the program open for more fraud and abuse, Mann said.

“The city has no direct connection (to the inspections),” said Mann. “All we did was provide the funds to have the proper oversight.”

When asked about the controversial subject of prayer in public meetings, Mann said he has no problem with it.

“If you go back, that’s part of what founded the United States,” he said. “People were oppressed and they came here and it was about religion. So I think that’s been part of government all along.”

He added that he thinks when people talk about separation of church and state, they are talking more about the Church of England being involved in government. The church was actually trying to run the government in that situation, Mann said.

He also addressed the public perception that Mayor R. Rex Parris controls the city council.

“I can honestly say I think that’s hogwash,” Mann said. “I think that because we’re trying to create one voice so there is some consistency, I think maybe that’s the perception they get; but Rex control me, I don’t think so.”

He said there haven’t been a lot of controversial subjects that have been indifferent from the council’s game plan, which is why they are seeing harmony on the council.

“Something comes before us, we vote, and we move forward,” Mann said. “The votes lately have gone 5-0, so I could see that someone says, ‘Oh Rex has got a great influence on them.’ If you look at it and you look at all the facts, we’re all making the right decision for our city and for the citizens.”

Ken Mann, a resident of Lancaster since 1956, was elected to the Lancaster City Council in April 2008. Mann and his wife own Camille’s Sidewalk Café in Lancaster, and he is also employed as a restaurant business consultant for Denny’s Corporation.

*This is the third of a series of profiles The AV Times will be publishing featuring Lancaster city council candidates, as well as mayoral candidates. The first profile featured council candidate John Kiramis, and the second profile featured council candidate Michael Rives. Profiles are published in random order.

  36 comments for “Incumbent City Council Candidate Ken Mann outlines his platform

  1. Justice Callout
    March 17, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Tell us Ken, are you the friend of Rex who terrorizes the businesses who distribute the Political Advisor? Remember the aftermath of 1933 Munich.

    March 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Don’t worry Kenny. Your boss Rex will feel well enough after the election to pay off the cost of your debt. Still lying to people about paying for all this on your own?

  3. ImTrixKat
    March 8, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Kick out all incumbents!! I’ve only lived here since August and I already know this is what needs to be done. Especially after this “Eye in the Sky” bs! Those who are will to give up liberty for security deserve neither! This is a blatant Big Brother move! Doesn’t anyone understand the rights that are being taken away from us? Not until it’s too late . . . then what? Let’s get some fresh faces up there that haven’t been bought!

  4. G Pharo
    March 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Who will care after the election. Rex will be cured of cancer. His idiots will be back there up his backside and the people of Lancaster will still not know what’s going on.

  5. CKAY
    March 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Check the final 410s after the election. You will undoubtedly see a transfer of PAC funds from Parris to Sandra Johnson and Ken Mann. You may even find one to David Abber. Even Rex hates running alone. Just as long as he winds.

    What’s in your wallet.

  6. Notsofast
    March 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Before you make comments about Ken Mann taking some of Rex Parris’ $200K war chest, you should probably get your facts straight. Ken Mann raises all of his own money and pays for his campaign with his own money. Check the 410’s. They’re online. Also, have you noticed that Ken Mann is suddenly one of the most popular elected officials around? Ron Smith wants his endorsement so bad he can almost taste it. I think it’s something that four years ago, they were saying all kinds of nasty things about him, and now, everybody wants to get next to him.

  7. CKAY
    February 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Ken? Are yot there? We have not forgotten about you. Why are you ducking debates. Please ask Rex for permission to attend. Since we have not heard you speak on the council, we would like to know what you sound like.

  8. CKAY
    February 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Are the sheep confused in the Sheppards absence. Mann and Johnson vote against the local law on e-verify to save their hides and not lose the Hespanic vote while lap dog Smith and Mr. Christ vote in favor. Their good sheppard won’t say how he votes until the next meeting or the one after that depending on whether he is delayed in Washington pleading with HUD to spare him since he’s just a confused whittle ambulance chaser doing the best he can as boss of his beloved Lancaster.

  9. Marissa
    February 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I’m one of those people who believed in him 4 years ago, but no more. The man has no backbone. They called him a [removed for inflammatory content], and when he is called to vote, to just do what he’s told. Now Rex is paying for his reelection because he knows that Ken is his.
    He got elected the first time because he aligned himself with 2 strong Democrats, and people felt sorry for him because of how brutally REX and crew attacked him. Now he wants you to forget everything he said back then about fighting Rex and crew’s back door dealing, because of course he jumped right in the muck with them.
    In my book he’s a [removed]. He threw the people who came out and listened to him, walked for him, voted for him, all under the bus because he was more interested in going along than doing the right thing.
    Watch the council meetings- The man is sleeping. I’m convinced his conscience won’t allow him to be awake for them.

    • CKAY
      February 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Once bought, stay bought. The ephiphany of consience does not play well with those Ken Mann already conned. The altimate insult to us is the gall to think we all forgot.

  10. S. Parker
    February 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Having met Mann once or twice in passing, I can say that he is a standup guy. He seems very humble. From what I read in this article, he is voting alongside Rex because he shares the same views. Can’t fault him for that. However, Mann if you are reading this, I would like to see you ask a little more questions and have more of a discussion on items in front of the council. You and the rest of the council members may have already discussed the issue, know what is going on, and know why you are voting the way you are. However, the discussion is for old dotes like me and others who can’t follow along. Perhaps you can even bring up some of the known cons and discuss why the pros outweigh the cons. Do that and I promise you, people won’t have as much of a problem with the city council.

    • LILANN
      February 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      He may stand up to you but never to rex perris. As far as having already discussed the issues, they cant because it violates the Brown Act. But maybe your right and they do it anyway. Laws dont apply to perris and his crew. I will give him this much because he tried in the begining but gave up when perris started putting the screws to him.

      • Mike Rives
        February 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        Ken Mann and Ron Smith were on the Planning Commission at one time. You can thank both of them for Lancaster being the “strip mall capital of the world.” Interestly, half of the malls have vacant stores thanks to the policies of Rex Parris and his council. If Ken is not too busy , I hope he shows up for the swearing in ceremony. Last time he was away on business and wasn’t even sworn in with the others. I also hope he can attend the meetings if he isn’t too busy and is re-elected which I hope NOT.

        • Gail P
          February 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm

          You may as well be on the council Mr. Reves since go to more meetings than Mr. Mann and Perris. My family and nieghbors beleve its time to get rid of these people who never discuss what they vote on and show up when they feel like. You have our votes.

          • mike rives
            February 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

            Thank-you for your support and votes! We will discuss things when I am on the council!

        • William
          February 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

          Lancaster has a planning commission???? I didn’t know.

          When I moved to Palmdale in 1990, I drove to Lancaster all the time for most everything but it was weird. Lancaster Blvd. was dead back then. They built the 22 screen theater in the middle of nowhere. Valley Central Way was OK for a while but stores started closing. The old Factory Outlet didn’t have any on and offramps to Lancaster Blvd and was a pain to get to easily.

          The BLVD is still a pain to get to and parking can be like down below. A roundabout? Really? I’ve never, in 21 years, seen very much traffic at that intersection. They could almost get by with 4-way stop signs.

          Lancaster just has never seemed well planned. The idea of building a mall-like outdoor shopping center across from the park WITH a hospital seemed real odd. I pictured ambulatory patients wandering about with their gowns open in back dragging an IV pole. Has that project been abandoned?

          Within a few years, I concluded that Lancaster’s priority
          was serving special interests, the good ol’ boys.

          Look at what has been accomplished in Palmdale in the last 21 years during several recessions and actually starting from behind Lancaster as far as size and number of businesses.

          The BLVD seems too small and yet too crowded to be the ‘downtown’ of a city of 150,000+ people and the larger AV. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Pleasanton in the 60s and 70s and those small towns had more vibrant downtown areas than the BLVD. I guess it’s the best Rex can do with what he’s got but he sure makes it sound like it’s a ‘world class city’. Really? Again, really? If it wasn’t for some of the scandals in the media, people around the country would think a Lancaster was in Pennsylvania.

    • Marissa
      February 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      You know what is so, so sad about Ken? In private, he will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear. If you’re not a fan of Rex, he’s not a fan of Rex, and he’ll tell you that the way to beat the almighty “them” is from the inside. He’ll try to convince you how lucky we all are that he’s up there, just waiting for the issue that will allow him to emerge..
      I’m sure if you support Rex, or he thinks it might get back to Rex, he’ll tell you how glad he is that they have worked out all their issues and how great it is to play for Team Rex.

      I don’t know about most men, but how pathetic do you have to be to cozy up to people who accused you very publicly of being [removed for inflammatory content].

      Who knows, maybe it was all true, and thats why Ken is so in line now.

      • gail p
        February 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm

        I do not think Ken Mann is guilty of what Mr. Parris accused him of. I think he is just weak by nature and stumbled his way onto the council by deceiving people and now just wants to hold on so he can keep feeling good about himself. I feel very sorry for him.

  11. G Pharo
    February 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I am also embarassed I voted for him. The poor guy does not even know he is in over his head.

    • Diana_B
      February 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

      An incumbent council member, a sixteen year member of the city’s planning commission and a fifty year resident of Lancaster and he’s in over his head? Give me a break! If you were any less knowledgeable about city business, you’d be one of his challengers.

    • G Pharo
      February 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

      His challengers at least answer questions. They don’t hide behind Rex Perris and the money he gives Mr. Mann to save him. Does any one not find it really strange Mr. Mann accepts more money from Rex Perris than most families in our town make in 3 years.

      • William
        February 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        Do you think lawyer Parris might routinely do background checks on everyone around him, just in case? I wonder if he does that on Lancaster residents who speak out. I wouldn’t put it past him.

        • Gail P
          February 21, 2012 at 6:31 am

          Perris is a frightened little bully. Think of him as a little dog that barks out of fear. I hope Ken Mann reads this and realizes there is nothing to fear. Ken once had the courage to stand up to this little tyrant. Maybe he can the find fortitude he had before he is thrown out of office as a discrace to voters or worse, he is re-elected because perris and his money need to be surrounded by weak helpless lap dogs. I voted fore him last time and he disappointed me.

          • Aaron P
            February 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

            Who is Perris?? I thought it was Parris!!!!!
            Learn how to spell before you start writing about someone. Remember P-A-R-R-I-S

          • gail p
            February 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

            Your right its p-a-r-r-i-s. I must have been thinking of parasite.

  12. A.G.
    February 18, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I am glad Ken Mann is running for re-election. He holds his own at city council meetings, and I do consider him to think independently from the pack. I have been a fan of his since he helped to get rid of those unconstitutional red light cameras. Say what you want about being “bought“ but I dissagree. Mann is a good person and I am not going to judge him for accepting donations, I’ll continue to make my judgements based on his voting and actions at council meetings. So, keep up the good work, Ken Mann!

    • CKAY
      February 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      What actions? What voting record? He says nothing except to patronize Rex the Sheppard who he fears and dreads. Name one instance when he voted his conscience and took a contrary stand alone. Maybe you consider his voting in lock step with Perris as being strong willed, independent and dynamic.

    • Matt S
      February 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      He holds his own!!??! His own WHAT. Something going on under the table we don’t know about?

      • CKAY
        February 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

        Ken Mann says “we’re trying to creat one voice so there’s some consistency.” Is Ken Mann so naive or foolish to believe we elected him so all we will hear is the singular voice of Rex Perris? Does he honestly think he was put into office to represent us so he can turn over his voice and his beliefs to Rex. Mr. Mann needs a spinal implant. I really regret having ever voted for him. The man folded like a lawn chair.

        • William
          February 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

          Well said. That was my thought when I read the quote. There are countries in the world where the government speaks with one voice and there is consistency. Thankfully, the U.S. isn’t one of them.

  13. CKAY
    February 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Article should read: “Ken Mann For Sale or Rent”. If he is independent,why is he and the appointed Johnson accepting 200k from Boss Rex. That seems to be a reasonable question that any journalist should ask.

  14. Palmdale_Steve
    February 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    More “Green Jobs” nonsense again?

    Those “Green Jobs” that President Obama has been promoting, Solandria and others, are a bust because once the Federal dollars dry up, the jobs end. Throw in the power of Chinese government sponsored industries undercutting the price on anything we Americans build, the “Green Job” mantra is just plain nonsense.

    How about pressing for getting the High Desert Corridor built and getting more warehouses built in Lancaster? Or work on other jobs that would be created by improving transportation serving the LA basin with projects like the High Desert Corridor.

    Hell, stand up to TRex and tell him that any new businesses in any part of the AV, including South of the Cactus Curtain, are good for creating jobs for residents of Lancaster. TRex’s pattern of pissing on anything that is not in TRex land, like the Palmdale power plant is just plain stupid.

    Run on common sense.

    • Matt S
      February 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Ken can’t do that. Otherwise Rex will send out fliers again, accusing him of being a [removed for inflammatory content].

      • CKAY
        February 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

        Your right! The best advice we can give him is: ONCE BOUGHT, STAY BOUGHT.

  15. Wpayo
    February 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    thanks for 4 yrs of great service to our city, Ken! You will get my vote again and the votes of others I know too.

  16. Stinger
    February 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Sorry, Ken, but we all know that you sold your soul (or at least your backbone) to the devil (i.e.: Parris) right after he got elected.

    You were a man once – a good man – but you sold out your constituents to Parris and his cronies.

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