LANCASTER – Four people have qualified to run for Mayor and five people have qualified to run for Council in the next General Municipal Election for the City of Lancaster, according to a list released by the City Clerk Friday evening. The filing period ended at 5 p.m., Jan 13.
The following is the list of qualified candidates (alphabetical by last name), along with a brief description of each candidate. The AV Times will bring you in-depth interviews and coverage of each candidate in the coming weeks.
David Abber ran for Lancaster Mayor in 2004 and ran for City Council in 2010. Abber is a frequent speaker at City Council meetings and is outspoken in his criticism of both the Council and the Mayor.
Since 2010, Abber has doggedly pursued a complaint against Mayor R. Rex Parris, claiming Parris physically assaulted him at a 24-hour fitness gym.
David Grajeda, a frequent speaker at Lancaster City Council meetings, announced his bid for Mayor in a courtroom Thursday where he is being charged with interfering with or disturbing a public meeting.
Grajeda said as mayor he would reduce term limits to two years, open the books to see where the money is going, impose salary caps on the City Manager’s and Deputy City Manager’s salaries, and closely evaluate code ordinances to “get rid of the ones that are unconstitutional and unfairly tax the population.”
On April 22, 2008, Lancaster native R. Rex Parris* became the third directly-elected Mayor of Lancaster. He was re-elected Mayor in April 2010.
According to the City website, immediately upon taking office, Parris embarked on a mission to dramatically reduce Lancaster’s crime rate, and as a result of his steadfast resolve, the City’s crime rate plummeted almost 40% in just three years.
David Paul is a member of the Human Relations Tapestry Commission, which was formed at the request of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris with the goal of bringing together various groups, cultures and individuals throughout the City of Lancaster.
Paul has been attending Lancaster City Council meetings for a number of years and prides himself on speaking on items of great importance to the community at large, such as sensible development, traffic, energy and water policy, disability issues, prayer at public meetings and basic human rights, according to a press release by the City.
Nine-year Lancaster resident, Isaac Grajeda, 29, is a music teacher, writer and musician. Grajeda describes himself as an advocate for reformed felons, minorities, and the working class and says that he is running to give a voice to the younger generation and to bridge the disconnect with the current administration.
He says he is living proof of how people can grow from bad experiences and transform negative circumstances into positive experiences.
Sandra Johnson* was appointed to the Lancaster City Council in September 2011.
Johnson, CEO and co-founder of the University of Antelope Valley, has overseen her company’s transformation, from a small CPR startup company in 1997, into a nationally accredited educational institution that graduates more than 1,000 students a year.
John T. Kiramis** is the former Mayor of Foster City, CA and a retired Police Lieutenant. Kiramis reportedly relocated to the Antelope Valley a short time ago to care for his mother-in-law.
View video of Kiramis as Foster City Mayor in 2009, talking about the City’s ongoing budget crisis here.
Ken Mann* was elected to the Lancaster City Council in April 2008. Mann was appointed to the Planning Commission in 1992, and served until 1996 when his 4-year term expired.
He was re-appointed in 1997 and served five consecutive 2-year terms as the Mayor’s appointment. He was re-appointed in April of 2006 to fill a 2-year vacancy on the commission.
Mann and his wife own Camille’s Sidewalk Café in Lancaster.
Michael Rives is retired as Cancer Program Administrator for the VA, where he worked for 13 years.
He also served as a Technical LAPD Reserve Officer for 10 years and is a former volunteer for Lancaster Animal Care and Control Facility.
Currently, Rives is president of the Antelope Valley Optimist Club. Rives ran for Lancaster City Council in 2010.
The next General Municipal Election for the City of Lancaster will be held on April 10, 2012. There will be two Council seats open for four year terms; and the Mayor’s seat open for a four year term.
The Mayor’s four-year term (Measure M) was approved by the voters of Lancaster on April 13, 2010 and ratified by the City Council on April 27, 2010.
To hold an elective office within the City of Lancaster, a person:
- Must be a United States citizen.
- Reside within the city limits of Lancaster.
- Must be 18 years of age or older at the time nomination papers are issued.
- Must be a registered voter of the City at the time nomination papers are issued.
- Not on parole for the conviction of a felony.
* denotes incumbent
**an earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Lancaster City Council Candidate John T. Kiramis. The spelling has been corrected.