LANCASTER – David Paul is on the ballot again this year as a candidate for Lancaster City Mayor.
“This is my fourth time running so I consistently believe I would be the best mayor,” Paul said.
As an active member of the community, Paul said he has been sharing his ideas with the Lancaster City Council for the last eight years.
“You can see on my webpage, the mayor giving me rare credit for the idea of a charter city. And Palmdale did it before us because of my work in the elections last time,” Paul said. “I’ve been calling for this for the last three elections because it gives us greater control of municipal affairs.”
He added that Lancaster is in a much better position now because the city has its own power authority, allowing for its own generation of electricity as well as a downtown destination spot.
“These are all eight-year-old ideas that I’ve been trying to move forward ever since, so what I think I have and the reason I should be the mayor is I have vision and courage,” Paul said. “I have had the courage to say what I think needed to be done and whether they listen or not time will see.”
Since the beginning of Paul’s involvement in local issues, he said he has warned the city council about several coming crises. Financial fallouts, pension troubles and water shortages are a few of the problems Paul predicts for Lancaster.
“I’ve written letters to the paper for seven or eight years of the coming calamity,” Paul said. “It’s like the story of Joseph when he got sold into captivity by his brothers and then taken into Egypt and he interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream, and then basically that was seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine.”
Although the city is doing well now, Paul said Lancaster needs to stock up on its resources just like Joseph helped the Egyptians stock up on their resources.
“I’ve also been warning of the pension trouble and the other problems we’re going to face as the stimulus ends. We’re facing it right now,” he said. “You sit in these meetings and there’s 25 percent cuts in the administrative staff and we can’t keep some of the schools opened and it’s unraveling.”
Lancaster residents need to realize how bad it is going to be, but also realize that the most important thing is to be able to pull together, Paul said.
If elected, Paul said the first three issues he would tackle would be water conservation, a transition to more volunteer services, and uniting as a community to survive.
“That’s the main thing that I have to stress,” he said. “We can bicker, we can disagree, but there are ways to do that and you have to come to the table wanting to solve all the problems instead of being right.”
For example, Paul said he thinks Mayor R. Rex Parris is doing certain things right, and as such, he will praise Parris’ efforts and success. But at the same time, he says he can also disagree with Parris on other issues.
“I admire some facets of the way the mayor administers the city,” Paul said. “I would do those things similarly, but the things that he does to alienate people and sometimes it seems it’s an unnecessary disruption, those things I wouldn’t do. I don’t antagonize.”
Paul added that he doesn’t like how the mayor holds on to his authority.
“Any competent mayor would do that but I am not as antagonistic,” he said. “People think that you have to be at each others throats and you’re not going to be a strong leader unless you fight like a blind man in the dark swinging wildly…You do that you wind up punching stuff that you shouldn’t. I don’t do that.”
As an Independent party, Paul said he likes that he is not “honor bound to hate anyone.”
“I wouldn’t be a Democrat or a Republican because then you’re honor bound to just hate the opposition,” he said. “I prefer to just love people, but people shouldn’t doubt my resolve. I mean I’ve kicked more a** and taken more names than anybody you’ll ever meet probably and I’ll do that as mayor if I need to.”
During his time working private security in “a wild, lawless town,” Paul said he kept the peace.
“That’s what you need. A warlord, a real sheriff, for what’s coming and I have that background and experience while treating people kindly and decently and fairly,” Paul said. “That’s what I bring.”
Currently, Paul is a member of the Human Relations Tapestry Commission that is tasked with improving human relations and diversity in the city.
Sue Dell, Chair of the commission, said Paul has her support in his run for mayor.
“David Paul was actually referred to this commission by the mayor, proposed to be a commissioner by the mayor, and from what I can tell, other than the mayor, David attends all of the meetings and public events that he can,” Dell said. “He’s got a good handle on the workings of this city… and for decision making with difficult factors… I think he’s a lovely person.”
*This is first of the profiles The AV Times is publishing featuring Lancaster mayoral candidates. We previously published profiles featuring the five city council candidates – John Kiramis, Michael Rives, Isaac Grajeda and incumbents Ken Mann and Sandra Johnson. Profiles are published in random order.