Santa Paula Times

Race is on! Six candidates for City
Council, BCL won’t have election

August 15, 2014
Santa Paula News

Six candidates qualified for the City Council race to be decided November 4 but what seemed would be campaigning for seats on the Blanchard Community Library’s Board of Trustees fizzled when only two candidates filed for two open seats.

Former Santa Paula Mayor and present Planning Commissioner Fred Robinson did not return the paperwork needed to run for City Council, leaving incumbents Ralph Fernandez and Bob Gonzales facing newcomers Jenny Crosswhite, John Demers, Ginger Gherardi and John Procter.

Procter is a former mayor and councilman who in 2008 declined to seek a third term on the council.

Mayor Rick Cook had announced he would not run for a second term. Cook had served two terms before losing his bid for reelection in 2006 and was returned to the dais by voters four years later.

All council candidates filed statements with the Ventura Elections Division and selected ballot designations; Crosswhite, who leads the congregation at First Christian Church, is listed as Pastor; Demers, appointed last year as COO of the Port of Hueneme, is listed as Retired Navy Officer; Gherardi, the former longtime head of Ventura County Transportation Commission, is listed as Retired Executive Director; Fernandez, two-term council incumbent is listed as a Councilmember/College Instructor; Procter, who recently left the Southern California Association of Governments, is listed as Retired and Gonzales, also a two-term council incumbent first elected after he left the Santa Paula Police Department, is listed only as Retired Police Chief.

Only incumbent Laura Phillips and newcomer Tim Hicks completed the filing process for the Blanchard Community Library Board of Trustees; since there are only two seats open - longtime Trustee Brenda DeJamaer did not seek reelection - the district now won’t have to bear the cost of an election.

Although Richard “Dick” Yamamoto and former longtime librarian Dan Robles also pulled papers for the BCL Board they did not file.

Service on Blanchard Community Library is not compensated.

Each City Council term is four years; council members receive a $300 a month stipend plus approximately $11,150 annually for the city’s cafeteria healthcare plan, a payment that can be pocketed if the council member has health insurance. The council also receives a small expense account.

The General Election is November 4.